Skip to main content

Full text of "The independent"

See other formats

Film and Video monthly 

# <• 

«* ^ # 








I Independent 


THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the Foun- 
dation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 625 Broadway, 
9th Floor, NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, A federal agency. Subscription is included in member- 
ship to the organization. 

Editor: Bill Jones 
Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 
Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 

Dee Dee Halleck 

Sol Rubin 

John Rice 

Barbara Turrill 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; 
Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Alan Mitosky, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Louise Zimmerman, Short 
Film Showcase Administrative Assistant; John Rice, Media 
Awareness Project Director; Barbara Turrill. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 


by Dee Dee Halleck 

BUSINESS by Mitchell Block 


by Larry Sapadin and Eric Breitbart 


by Paul Kleyman 

COVER: THE WOBBLIES. Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD MEMBERS: Executive Committee — Eric Breitbart, 
Treasurer; Pablo Figueroa; Dee Dee Halleck; Lawrence Sapadin, Ex 
Officio; Stew Bird; Alan Jacobs, Kathy Kline, Secretary; Jessie Maple; 
Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison, President; Marc Weiss; Matt Clarke, 
Chairperson; Julio Rodriguez; Robert Richter. 




To the Editor, 

In the interview with me printed in The 
Independent, some.errors appeared that were probably a 
result of faulty transcription. I am eager to correct the 
worst of'these:*Leo Horowitz = Leo Hurwitz; Mia Derrin = 
Maya Deren;. Sydney Myers = Sidney Meyers. At one point 
I indicated Eagerness for the audience to have its own reac- 
tion to what is presented. "Reaction" came out 

"recreation." Taking on Leo Hurwitz as my "master" was 
meant in the Frank Lloyd Wright sense of "Lieber 
Meister." "Claw" was my fourth completed independent 
film, not my first. 

Thanks again for the AlVf's friendly support towards 
"Stations of the Elevated." 

Manny Kirchheimer 


Here presented are the founding principles of the AIVF, followed by new resolutions that were approved by vote last April of the entire membership, at the same time the 
Board of Directors were elected. 

Since the addition of any new resolutions constitutes a by-law change, the consent ol the membership was required. 


Be it resolved, that the following five principles be adopted as the Principles of the 

1. The Association is a service organization of and for independent video and 

2. The Association encourages excellence, committment, and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and filmmaking is more than just a job — that it 
goes beyond economics to involve the expression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through the combined effort of the membership, to 
provide practical, informational, and moral support for independent video and film- 
makers and is dedicated to insuring the survival and providing support for the con- 
tinuing growth of independent video and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its support to one genre, ideology, or 
aesthetic, but furthers diversity of vision in artistic and social consciousness. 

5. The Association champions independent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is determined, by mutual action, to open pathways 
toward exhibition of this work to the community at large. 

Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. 

The AIVF resolves: 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in fostering cooperation, community, 
justice in human relationships and respect of age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the freedom of expression of the independent film 
and video maker, as spelled out in the AIVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue and heightened awareness among the 
membership of the social, artistic, and personal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, via such mechanisms as screenings and 

4. To continue to work to strengthen AlVF's services to independents, in order 
to help reduce the membership's dependence on the kinds of sponsorship which 
encourages the compromise of personal values. 


The AIVF Board met on Tuesday, February 3, 1981 at 7:30 pm. 
The following matters were discussed and are reflected in the 
full minutes which are available for review at the AIVF office: 

Board alternates Robert Richter, Julio Rodriquez and Matt 
Clarke were appointed to fill vacancies on the Board left by 
the resignations of Vice President Robert Gardner and Chair- 
man Jack Willis. 

Executive Director's Report — It was reported that the new 
contract negotiated by the Independent Anthology filmmakers 
and CPB would be issued shortly in writing by CPB. The proj- 
ects are currently in production under the terms agreed to by 
the Filmmakers' Committee and CPB on December 31, 1980. 

It was further reported that the current membership drive has 
been producing several new membership applications each 

AIVF Votes Support for Coalition to Make Public TV Public — 
The AIVF Board affirmed its support for the work of the Coali- 
tion and voted to provide the Coalition with space at AIVF, 
along with other "in kind" AIVF services, the scope of which 
will be worked out by the Coalition and AIVF. 

Financing Act Advocacy Gearing up — Media Awareness Proj- 
ect Director, John Rice, reported that an Action Committee 
would be formed to develop strategy and prepare testimony 

for the upcoming Public Television Financing Act legislation 
in Washington, D.C. 

AIVF Promotes Independent Work — The Board approved 
AlVF's offering members a subscription rate for an extended 
independent film series in New York City being organized by 
First Run Features, an independent film distribution 
cooperative. The Board also approved making AlVf's mailing 
list available to members to publicize screenings. 

Board Considers Legal Action Against CPB — The Board 
discussed the question of whether AIVF should bring legal 
action to compel CPB to provide "substantial funding" for 
independent work, as required by the 1978 Telecommunica- 
tions Act. Executive Director Sapadin agreed to prepare a 
memorandum on some of the legal issues. 

The Independent Gets a New Section — The Board agreed 
that The Independent should better reflect the internal policy 
discussions of the Board and among AIVF membership. 
Accordingly, a section will be established for the presentation 
of position papers and letters on policy questions, along with 
AlVf's Principles and Resolutions, Board Minutes and a 
description of the Association. 

The next Board meeting is scheduled to be held on March 3, 
1981. Members are welcome to attend and participate. 

BOARD MEETINGS are held monthly at AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9lh Floor and are 
open to the public. The AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors encourages active member- 
ship participation and welcomes discussion of important issues. In order to be on 
the agenda contact Jack Willis, chairperson, two weeks in advance of meeting at 
(212) 921-7020. 

The next two meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, APRIL6 MAY 4 

Both will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Dates and times, however, are subject to last 

minute changes, so please call (212) 473-3400 to confirm. 

"The NEH . . . has stretched the concept of humanistic 
research to pay for classes in films on the struggle of women 
office workers to improve their lot ... The Expansion Arts 
Program of the NEA — described as a "point of entry" to 
minority, blue collar, and rural cultures — plainly has more 
political than esthetic significance. Such policies undermine 
the meaning of Arts and Humanities. They should be 
reversed." —The New York Times 


AIVF is currently reconstituting its Screening Commit- 
tee. If you have a film or video piece that you would like 
considered for public screening by AIVF, please send a 
one-page description of the piece: title, format (film/ 
video), running length, color or b/w, subject matter and 
style. Since an important purpose of an AIVF screening 
is to encourage serious discussion of independent 
work, as well as to have fun, please include any ideas 
that you may have for a discussion relating to your 

If you wish to become an active member of the Screen- 
ing Committee, please let us know by writing or calling 
the AIVF office, (212) 473-3400. 

"Total federal giving to the arts now constitutes a total of one 
half of 1% of the national budget — which is to say, enough 
money to run the Pentagon for eight hours." 

—The Boston Globe 

Now more than ever we need the strong advocacy that AIVF 
can provide. Help make the AIVF truly representative of your 
interests. Come to the annual membership meeting! Nomina- 
tions for new board members will be accepted followed by a 
discussion of the future of arts funding under the Reagan 

Wednesday, March 25, 1981 at AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Fl., 
NY, NY 10012. 

AIVF Forum 

As independent video and filmmakers, we are entering 
a difficult and challenging period. Many of the tradi- 
tional funding sources for independent work are rapidly 
shrinking, while the costs of production continue to 

Independents are being confronted by many difficult 
questions of policy and practice, upon which their abili- 
ty to survive as independents depends. 

Now, more than ever, we must join together for mutual 
support and assistance. At the same time, however, we 
must be prepared to test the policies and directions of 
the AIVF through vigorous and honest debate. 

With this in mind, The Independent has dedicated a 
new section to the presentation and discussion of 
questions of policy within AIVF and within the indepen- 
dent community as a whole. 

Members are invited to submit their views and 
responses to the Editor of The Independent. 

January 31, 1981 

AIVF has a reputation for being on top of events and 
trends emerging from Washington. While the govern- 
ment changes administrations and debates priorities, 
AIVF gets a new executive director and some members 
of the Board of Directors initiate a reexamination of the 
organization's raison d'etre. 

On Thursday, January 29th, there was a membership 
meeting at AIVF to discuss organizational business. It's 
been a long time between such meetings, so I figured it 
was worth attending. Naturally, the turnout was 
meager: a few disgruntled Board and ex-Board 
members, some diehard general members, and a couple 
of people who wandered in off the street hoping to stay 
warm on a cold night. Just like the "good old days". 

Just how good were these good old days? AIVF is a 
membership organization, and there can be no doubt 
that, a few years ago, the membership was far more ac- 
tive. In fact, most of the work of the organization was 
performed by volunteers working on ad hoc commit- 

Relying on this type of effort has its advantages. Some 
of the committees laid the foundation for highly suc- 
cessful activities. For instance, the advocacy work for 
which AIVF is so highly reputed had its origins in what 
founder and first President Ed Lynch once called "our 
hyperactive Access Committee." 

From my personal point of view, the social function of 
young professionals working together had a tremen- 
dous positive effect on my work. I kept coming to 
meetings, even when I had to travel almost one hundred 
miles to do so, because the people there had so much 
information to share. It was the type of information they 
don't teach you, even in graduate school. Anyway, dues 
are a lot cheaper than tuition. 


But volunteer committees are by nature inefficient and 
confusing. It proved increasingly difficult for a growing 

and maturing AIVF to house committees accustomed 
to relative autonomy. With volunteer committee 
members claiming to speak for the organization, the 
question of how AIVF would be represented in public 
became crucial. 

Under the leadership of Alan Jacobs, AIVF grew in 
stature and reputation. It became an effective advocate 
of the interests of independents. John Rice, working 
closely with Jacobs, performed the difficult task of 
coordinating advocacy efforts. This meant watching 
Congress, the White House, the FCC/PBS, CPB, NTIA, 
the Transponder Allocation Committee and a whole 
host of alphabet groups. And before the organization 
could speak authoritatively, all they had to do was co- 
ordinate with dozens of groups from around the coun- 
try. Not an easy job, and not a job for a volunteer com- 

Still, something of the community was lost when the 
more efficient staff system took over. Members stop- 
ped coming by the office. There was a growing distance 
between the official organization and the people it 
counted as member. When this membership meeting 
was called, it was with the hope of rediscovering this 
sense of social and professional community. 

The general tone of the meeting went something like 
this: "The Board isn't listening to the members because 
the members aren't saying anything to the Board," or 
"The Independent isn't controversial enough/is too con- 
troversial." Just like the good old days. 

The group formulated a few opinions, even if they 
weren's able to make any decisions. There was general 
agreement that more membership participation was 
desirable. Should conflict arise because ad hoc com- 
mittees start demanding decision-making responsi- 
bilities and the Board asserts itself as the only 
legitimate source of AIVF policy decisions, it was sug- 
gested that there are worse things in the world than to 
let them fight it out. 

It was this willingness to let internal disagreements 
come out that characterized much of the discussion. 
The central role of The Independent as an internal com- 
munications system was stressed repeatedly; within its 
pages the debate can be brought before the member- 

Will The Independent prove an effective voice for the 
membership? Will the newsletter be any livelier, will 
anyone read it or will people be turned off by the airing 
of "dirty laundry"? Tune in next issue. 

Yours truly, 
Gerry Pallor 

Medio Makers in Bonzolond 
The New Oppos it ion 

A Review of Organizational Efforts at Media Reform 
in the Chilly Dawn of a Reagan Presidency 

by DeeDee Halleck 

The election of the first American president thoroughly tooled 
in the consciousness industry throws into sharper relief some 
of the contradictions of cultural work in this country. Indepen- 
dent film and video producers here have, ifi the last ten years, 
found support from liberal governmental agencies. The 
National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities and the 
various state and regional arts and humanities councils have 
enabled a group of self-proclaimed "independent" or "alter- 
native" media producers to receive production funds and even 
distribution assistance, albeit in sporadic and extremely 
competitive granting processes. The pacification and coopta- 
tion of artists was an early goal of the eastern power trusts 
and the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the 
whole system of arts councils (founded initially by Nelson 
Rockefeller with the New York State Council on the Arts) have 
kept up just enough of a steady dole of meagre money to that 
lean, volatile and dangerous group to keep them busy with 
grant applications, if nothing else. Persons wishing to express 
counter-views if any of the media arts could always find just 
enough support (and just enough audience, isolated and 
elitist though it might be) that they needn't attack the culture 
industry and question the dominant forms of media expres- 

One of the contradictions that has evolved, however, is that in 
order to maintain some degree of credibility in the entire pro- 
cess, it became necessary to have the money dispensed by 
peer panels. Arts administrators quickly discovered that selec- 
tion of grants by administrative decree elicited mass protests 
and bitterness from the artist community. A broadly represen- 
tative panel of artist selectors was the only way to minimize 
harassment and dissatisfaction. This inclusion of a 
democratic process in the arts bureaucracy has resulted not 
only in the production of a growing number of "social 
change" works, but also in a growing understanding of the 
funding process. In fact, one of the concrete results of cen- 
tralized art funding has been the development of organiza- 
tions of artists, with concomitant newsletters, publications, 
visibility, advocacy and an intense involvement by these con- 
stituents in the legislative and administrative process. 

I was myself involved, as past President of the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers, in forcing the so-called 
"public" television system to support independent producers. 
In a struggle that took several years and numerous visits to 
Washington and Congress, we focused on the liberal legis- 
lative language of the National Communications Act and the 
enabling legislation for public television. We demanded struc- 
tural changes that could begin to implement the rhetoric that 
promised "diversity" and "public service". Through personal 
testimony, and publication of well-researched documents, we 
proved that American public television denies access to pro- 
ducers, often the very producers who were receiving arts 
council and Endowment funds. American productions from 
the alternative media community, although screened often on 

New York, November, 1980 

German and Scandinavian television and appearing in count- 
less European festivals, were practically non-existent on the 
tax-funded public channels, pre-empted by hackneyed 
Edwardian historical dramas from the BBC such as The 
Forsythe Saga. Oil companies and other multi-nationals like 
IBM could, by underwriting these slick English dramas, exert 
editorial control over the public television bureaucracy. The 
brocades of the English drawing room were drawn over the 
more ragged homespun (and often keenly critical) social 
documentaries that the young American media artists were 

By going directly to Congress, by exploiting the disdain of the 
general population for English productions (less than one per- 
cent of the country watches prime-time public TV), and by 
pandering to the frankly chauvinist need for American-made 
productions, we were able to require that a "substantial 
amount" of national production money be spent on American 
independent productions, selected by peer panel "advisors". 
While this mandate has yet to be fulfilled (it may take litiga- 
tion to define "substantial" properly), the new law signals the 
beginning of involvement by producers in the fiscal arrange- 
ment of public broadcasting. Although the selection of pro- 
ductions for actual airing is still up to the broadcasters, the 
onus is how upon them to air and promote the productions 
that are funded. 

This legislative work marked the beginning of a new coalition 
between independent producers and other groups working on 
media reform. The labor movement has been highly critical of 
public television, and worked collaboratively with us in the 
Congressional discussions. Progressive church movements 
have also worked at media reform and were grateful to have in- 
dependent producers join their ranks. Women's groups and 
minority coalitions helped to push for equal opportunity 
clauses. This coalition not only won the mandate for indepen- 
dent productions, but also forced the inclusion within the Act 
of strict measures for making all meetings and financial 
records of public television stations open to the public. This 
access to the decision-making processes of local stations 
may have a broader and longer-term effect, as community 
groups recognize their rights to demand accountability from 
their local broadcasters. 

The work of independent producers has been very important 
in documenting the history of early labor struggles, civil rights 
and women's movements in this country. Such films as Union 
Maids, The Wobblies, The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter 
and With Babies and Banners are helping to revitalize and 
renew grassroots rank-and-file union activity. Independent 
producers have been eager to collaborate in these endeavors 
— as producers. Working in an organizational capacity with 
labor and community groups means a change of relationship. 
New alliances for organized resistance to the culture industry 
is of prime (time) importance to progressive political struggle. 
That resistance can take place only in the context of the kind 


of coalition-building that happened within the public tele- 
vision work. 

Another area of contention, and one of increased activity at 
the grass roots, is the franchising of cable television. The per- 
mits to build cable television systems are generally licensed 
to cable operators by local towns or cities. Cable companies 
compete for town approval by attempting to prove their will- 
ingness to serve the community, and on occasion by directly 
buying off council members' votes. Local groups have 
monitored these proceedings and forced townships to impose 
stringent local access requirements on the franchised 
system. These stipulations can include anything from reserv- 
ing several channels for open access programming (you bring 
in the tape, they'll put it on for you) to completely furnished 
and manned (or womanned) color video studios to be used for 
community purposes on a first-come first-served basis. Other 
towns have allocated a percentage of the operators' gross to 
local productions. Still others may be conned into accepting a 
fancy but short-lived remote TV van to tape the high school 
football game. While these stipulations necessitate constant 
monitoring and continuing pressure, they have, on occasion, 
resulted in a truly viable community access television system. 

An example is Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, where local 
teenagers, taught and spurred on by graduates and faculty of 
nearby Goddard College's Community Media program, have 
for several years produced a regular series of shows on issues 
of specific interest to their peer community: teenage preg- 
nancy, the draft, alcoholism, police abuse of loitering laws. 
Funded by the cable company (under the franchise agree- 
ment), town taxes and a local jobs-for-youth program, the 
shows are proof that television can be produced by people 
without professional training, in ways that are human and 
socially relevant, and which can begin to replace the 
alienating tendencies of the tube with the creation of com- 
munity. Saint Johnsbury is an exception, and the Goddard in- 
put in that situation is a critical factor, but it serves as a good 
model for community organizers. As cable gets more lucrative 
and more and more companies vie for the various franchises, 
community access provisions get easier to include, and 
models like Saint Johnsbury become important bargaining 
examples for other groups demanding access. 

Organizing people in this country around media issues is dif- 
ficult in the face of the prevailing ideology of most of the com- 
munications schools and research institutes. There is a linger- 
ing McLuhanist reverence for omnipotent technology, and a 
haive faith that "information" per se is good. (There are occa- 
sional studies on the correlation between television and 
violence. These reports often have racist overtones: "TV is OK 
but it makes Blacks violent.") The argument is always "Wait 
until we get enough channels, or enough satellites, or enough 
videodiscs. But we are beginning to wake up to the reality that 
400 AM radio stations only means 400 AM radio stations play- 
ing Disco music. If there is to be change, it will not be through 
multiplying the number of channels. 

Media workers — producers, directors, technicians, writers 
and actors — those who work independently and those im- 
bedded within the commercial apparatus, need to exert their 
power over the forms they produce and the distribution of 
those forms. The recent Screen Actors' Guild strike inserted 
the actors into the profit structure of the distribution of their 
work on videodisc and Betamax tape. Future labor disputes in 
the cultural sector could justly include increased workers' 
control over editorial processes. 

An interesting side development that promises future 
cooperative exchange has been the growing resistance to 
media stereotyping by oppressed communities. It started with 
the gay and lesbian protests against the abuses to their com- 
munity in the movie Cruising. Chinese and other Asian- 
Americans have likewise protested the images of fu Manchu 
and Charlie Chan in other recent releases. In the South Bronx, 
a group of vocal Puerto Ricans virtually halted the filming of 
Fort Apache, a Paul Newman vehicle which attempted to 
make Western-type heroes out of the anti-Latino local police 
force. These groups exerted effective pressure, which in all 
three cases resulted in changes in the shooting scripts. 

Other areas for exchange and cooperation are being 
developed internationally through the movement of the non- 
aligned countries at the World Administrative Radio Con- 
ference (WARC) and within UNESCO (the McBride Commis- 
sion) towards a New World Information Order. We in the US 
("freeflow" notwithstanding) need our own new information 
order. We have much to gain by allying ourselves with those 
members of the Third World who are working to develop 
human and progressive media. By struggling to change the 
culture industry here at the centers of production, we can 
weaken the imperialist strategies of the media corporations. 

It is a difficult battle. As the ultra-right takes command of the 
American political process, we must contemplate four years 
of a Hollywood president. And so we are quickly learning that 
although liberal-dominated government agencies may have 
found "alternative" and "independent" expression necessary 
to their cooptive system, with the installation of Ronald 
Reagan and his legions, the very term "alternative" becomes 
"oppositional". The vigilantes of reaction have already taken 
aim at the Pacifica Foundation, the progressive radio network 
that has often been the sole source of news and public affairs 
programs that are other than corporate mouthings. On the day 
after the election, the rightist alliance declared at a 
Washington news conference that Pacifica would be their 
next target. 

The seige has started. An obvious first attack will be cutting 
off funds for "social change" media, the coming years will 
find our community poorer as the grant sources dry up. But 
perhaps we will grow stronger if that forces us to focus on the 
structures of corporate cultures. 


OY©&&L W= d[L(Q)©C€ 


Prior to the Carter Phone decision we were required to 
rent our telephones from Bell Telephone companies. 
With the Carter Phone decision a number of companies 
have come up with clever ways to beat the high cost of 
the Long Lines Division of American Telephone and 
Telegraph without resorting to illegal blue boxes or 
credit card scams. The best known systems are MCI, 
marketed by MCI Telecommunications in Washington, 
D.C. and SPRINT, marketed by S P Communications in 
Burlingame, California. Both systems rely on private 
microwave telephone systems and highly sophisticated 
computers. Both systems also require that the user 
have a Touch Tone phone to get on the system once a 
local phone number is dialed. (Touch Tone pads can be 
used if you have a regular dial phone.) The other private 
telephone systems are designed for large business 
users and not for the telephone user who runs a bill 
smaller than a few hundred dollars a month. 

Both SPRINT and MCI work in similar ways. (MCI and 
SPRINT'S rates have and continue to make changes. 
The rates shown are based on telephone interviews 
conducted on June 26, 1980. Many MCI and SPRINT 
rate holders may now be paying less. In the case of 
MCI, the rates shown will be going into effect on 
August 1, 1980 if you are on the system and are the 
rates now in effect for new customers.) When you set 
up your long distance account you are issued a five or 
seven digit number. In addition, you are given a local 
access phone number. With MCI and SPRINT you call 
the local number, punch in your five or seven digit 
number, and then dial your long distance call. Both 
SPRINT and MCI offer numbers that will work in other 
Rates for Los Angeles — New Yo rk City 

Weekday Full Rate (Mon-Fri 8 AM to 5 PM) 

First Minute 

Each Additional Minute 
(Note: Operator Assisted Calls are for 
credit card or collect calls and are 
shown only for station to station calls) 

Applies to ALL MCI and SPRINT calls 

Evenings, Sun-Fri (5 PM to 11 PM) 
First Minute 
Each Additinal Minute 

Nights and Weekends 

First Minute 

Each Additional Minute 

Monthly Minimum Fee 

Service Charge (Monthly) 

Access Charge 
Billing increments 

cities. Unlike the phone company system, designed to 
bill you for calls made at the phone you are calling 
from, the MCI and SPRINT system permit you to call in- 
to the system from any touch Tone in the local calling 
number's area. Thus, you can make long distance calls 
from pay phones for a dime (for the local call) or from 
anyone's Touch Tone phone. When you are calling from 
a pay phone or a friend's home or office phone this 
means you can charge the call to youself without get- 
ting involved in the telephone company's higher fee 
structor for operator-assisted calls. 

The other advantage of SPRINT and MCI is that they do 
not round telephone calls up to the next highest full 
minute for their charge. MCI prorates minutes into half- 
minute segments, and SPRINT uses six-second seg- 
ments. When you talk three minutes and two seconds 
on the telephone company system you are billed for 
four minutes. At the highest inter-American rate this 
amounts to more than thirty-five cents. 

I have had the MCI system for years, and other than oc- 
casional poor connections it has proved to be a real cot 
saver. I will be switching to SPRINT after August 1 
because their rates are now lower than MCl's. 

Both MCI and SPRINT argue that their service is worth- 
while if you make almost any amount of long distance 
calls. I know that from about $50.00 a month or more in 
calls, the MCI system seems to be about 15% cheaper 
than the phone company. At $250,000 a month it is over 
30% cheaper. Of course, your actual savings will de- 
pend on the nature and length of the phone calls you 

Bell Telephone 


1st/3 min. 








Many Areas Extra for 
Touch Tone Phone 

1 minute 




.125 plus 
access fee 

1155 plus 
access fee 

same as 





30 seconds 

6 seconds 



Sample Calls: 

Los Angeles to New York City (State and Local Taxes not shown) 
from a pay phone and from a regular Touch Tone phone. (Bell 

9:00 AM 
M ■ F 

6:00 PM 

System will use a credit card.) 
Bell Telephone 

2-minute call 

With Operator 

5.75-minute call 
10.5-minute call 

2-minute call 
5.75-minute call 
10.5-minute call 






$ .92 

1 .92 

$ .88 

(MCI and SPRINT would 

be 10<p cheaper 

if calling 

from office phone instead 

of pay phone.) 







$ .60 

$ .31 

$ .38 


$ .93 

$ .82 





Sunday, March 29, 10:30 p.m . 
(Rebroadcast: Thurs., April 2, 11:30 p.m.) 

11 x 14: An experimental feature film concerned mostly with 
looking and seeing — utilizing color, sound and movement for 
plot. The film has been described as "a meditation on 
America." Producer: James Benning (New York); 

— followed by — 

BASEBALL/TV: A short conceptual work by Stuart Sherman 
(New York). 

Sunday, April 5, 10:30 p.m. 
(Rebroadcast: Thurs., April 9, 11:30 p.m.) 

PROPERTY: A feature film that celebrates the exuberance of a 
group from the Sixties' counterculture caught in the world of 
Seventies' corporate America. Producer: Penny Allen 
(Portland, Oregon); 

— followed by — 

SKATING: A short experimental work by Stuart Sherman (New 

Sunday, April 12, 10:30 p.m. 

(Rebroadcast: Thurs., April 16, 11:30 p.m.) 

POTO AND CABENGO: A film about Grace and Virginia 
Kennedy, identical twins living in Southern California who re- 
ceived extensive media attention when it was thought that 
they had devised their own complex language. Producer: Jean- 
Pierre Gorin (California); 

— followed by — 

SCOTTY & STUART: A short experimental work by Stuart 
Sherman (New York). 

Sunday, April 19, 10:30 p.m. 

(Rebroadcast: Thurs., April 23, 11:30 p.m. ) 

UNDERGROUND, U.S.A.: A new-wave film, in the genre that 
has developed in independent cinema over recent years, about 
the end of a 1960's superstar. Producer: Eric Mitchell (New 

Sunday, April 26, 10:30 p.m. 
(Rebroadcast: Thurs., April 30, 11:30 p.m.) 

CHARLEEN: A documentary portrait of an eccentric Southern 
woman, who as a young girl ran away from home to find a new 
father — preferably a famous one. Producer: Ross McElwee 
(Boston, Mass.). 

— followed by — 

I'M NOT FROM HERE: A dramatic work based on an actual ex- 
perience about a young man's sexual ambivalence. Producer: 
Harvey Marks (New York). 

Sunday, May 3, 10:30 p.m. 
(Rebroadcast: Thurs., May 7, 11:30 p.m.) 

WE ARE THE GUINEA PIGS: A 90 minute documentary that 
explores the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. The pro- 
duction was filed in the months following the accident at the 
nuclear plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Producer: Joan 
Harvey (New York). 

Sunday, May 10, 10:30 p.m. 

(Rebroadcast: Thurs., May 14, 11:30 p.m.) 

documentary film focusing on the pros and cons of 
methadone use in the treatment of heroin addiction. Pro- 
ducers: James Klein and Julia Reichert (Dayton, Ohio). 

Sunday, May 17, 10:30 p.m. 
(Rebroadcast: Thurs., May 21, 11:30 p.m.) 

THE DOZENS: A dramatic film — produced entirely in the 
Boston area with a local cast and crew — it is the story of 
wise-cracking, street-smart, Sally Connors, out of prison and 
trying to survive on the streets. Producers: Randall Conrad 
and Christine Dall (Boston, Mass.) 

Independent Focus is a presentation of THIRTEEN, made 
possible in part by the members of THIRTEEN. 

GAL YOUNG UN a film by Victor Nunez 

interviewed by Eric Breitbart and Lawrence Sapadin 


Q: How was First Run Features set up? 

FS: First Run Features was set up by four groups of film- 
makers — Maxi Cohen and Joel Gold (Joe and Maxi), Stewart 
Bird and Deborah Shaffer (The Wobblies), and John Hanson 
(Northern Lights) — who wanted to get theatrical distribution. 
New Front Films is involved too — we have a service arrange- 
ment with them — since John Hanson had already formed an 
alliance with them before FRF was set up. 

Q: Why did they come to you? Could you tell us something 
about your background? 

FS: I started 35 years ago, with a company called Classic Pic- 
tures, which was owned by Max J. Rosenberg. From there 
Harold Wiesenthal and I set up our own company, called Arlan 
Pictures. Then I went to work for Continental Distributing, 
which was Walter Reade, and then I went to Cinema 5. From 
Cinema 5 I went to New Yorker Films. 

I was the general sales manager for my own company, of 
course, but I went to cinema 5 as a cashier, which gave me 
access to all the distributors around the country since I was 
the one who would hound them for money. Then Mr. Rugoff 

asked me to be general sales manager. I had certain territories 
that I handled directly, and we also had sub-distributors 
around the country, but all the deals had to be approved by 
the home office in New York. That was 1975 through 78. 

Q: How has distribution changed over the years? 

FS: I don't know that it has changed. I have never worked for 
a major — ever. I've always worked for an independent — 
sometimes a large independent, but an independent 
nonetheless. Most of the time I was involved with foreign 

Q: Why do foreign films seem to do better than American in- 

FS: There used to be what we called an "art track", which 
really doesn't exist any more. There was an audience who 
went to those theaters for foreign films. 

Q: Do you think it's more difficult to sell foreign films now 
than it was in the early '60's? 

FS: Yes, I think so. One reason is that the art theater owners 
probably realized that there was a lot more money in commer- 


cial films that were intelligent — films like Turning Point or 
Annie Hall — and a lot of them turned away from the "art 
track". At one time, if you opened a foreign film in New York, 
you would have 17 or 18 theaters in the area to go to after- 

Q: Now what would you have? 

FS: Take a look in the paper. You don't have it. There used to 
be a formula: one theater in the Village, one on the Upper 
West Side, one on the Upper East Side, one in Queens, one or 
two in Nassau County, two in Brooklyn, three or four in Jersey 
— you can't get that any more. 

Q: Given the difficulty of marketing independent films, what 
was it that attracted you? 

FS: Well, I was ready to retire. In fact, I am retired. I'm only a 
consultant at this company. To be honest, I was never in- 
terested in documentaries myself — but after I saw a couple 
of these films, my eyes were opened to some things for the 
first time. I liked what they were doing. They asked me, and I 
said, "Let's try it." I do think theaters should be playing 
documentaries, and independent features, but it's going to be 
a hard pull. 

Q: How do you "sell" the films to exhibitors? Is a personal 
relationship important? 

FS: Yes. It is a question of people knowing you for a long 
time — knowing whether you are ethical or not, and not 
beating them over the head. My deals are pretty easy ones to 
make. In selling a foreign film, I could go in and demand 
$25,000 guarantees and things like that. I'm not anxious to do 
that. I want to get access to a theater where one or two suc- 
cessful runs will open that theater up. 

It's been a hard pull, but it's been working. I had to pressure a 
theater (through friendship, of course) to take a locked book- 
ing — a seven-day play — and I found out that the picture 
played for three weeks, not one. The exhibitor said he didn't 
expect it to do that well. I had the same thing happen at 
another theater with another film. I told both the owners that 
they should know me better, that I don't sell junk. This way, it 
makes it easier to go in with the next picture. 

Q: Is the decline in the number of Hollywood films going to 
make it easier to sell independents? 

FS: I understand there's going to be a shortage of films, 
probably sometime in the spring. Certainly, they will be more 
receptive. Of course, it will be much easier if I can say that a 
film did $12,000 in one city and $15,000 in another. Exhibitors 
would much rather do that than play a repeat of an old 
Hollywood film, or double up, but it's going to be another hard 
year before we really convince the theaters. 

Q: Do you try to develop press contacts to get effective 

FS: I don't. The arrangement at FRF is different. Every pro- 
ducer who comes in still maintains control of his or her film. 
Not control of the playdates, because that's what they sup- 
posedly pay me for — my expertise in that field. But they can 
spend as much as they want on co-op advertising, which they 
usually share with the exhibitor. They get a copy of every date, 
and they don't have a right to reject it after I take it. Outside of 
that, we are exactly like a distributor. We do the billing, we 
ship the prints, we make the settlements, collect the money 
and turn it over to the producers. 



IMPOSTORS, a film by Mark Rappaport 


Q: Who are the people to whom you book the films? How 
many of them are there? 

FS: When we do a mailing, we send out 416 letters. That 
doesn't mean 419 screens; it might be two or three times that. 
But these are the people I've dealt with over the years, circuits 
and independents. Most of the real work, though, is done on 
the phone. 

Q: What sort of financial arrangements do you make? 

FS: We work on a small distribution fee, a percentage of the 
gross film rental — not the box office. My deals with ex- 
hibitors are usually 35% to 50% deals — sometimes it can be 
as low as 25% — which is the producer's share. We get our 
fee from that. 

Q: Do you take the house "nut" into consideration? 

FS: Sure, when we make a 90/10 deal; and you have to know 
what the "nut" is to know exactly what percentage to ask for 
— what the size of the house is, where it's located, things like 

Q: Do distributors and exhibitors give you a harder time 
because of the kind of films you handle? 

FS: It's not a question of films, but of personalities at that 
point. My job is *o keep both First Run Features and the ex- 
hibitor in business. If I force him out of business, I'm not 
going to have an outlet any more. If I make a 35% or 50% deal 
and the exhibitor is really hurt, I will adjust downward — but I 
won't take less than 25%. I should also say that in the past 
year I've found that my exhibitors have been more than fair 
with me. 

Q: Is it particularly difficult to open a film in New York? 

FS: Very difficult. The usual cost for a pre-opening and open- 
ing week would be, conservatively, $15 to $20,000. Basic 
coveage. No big ads. 

Q: Why is it important to open in New York? 

FS: Because an awful lot of people outside of New York want 
New York reviews; but it doesn't have to be so. 

Q: Northern Lights opened around the country first, didn't it? them 

FS: Yes, but in most cases a New York opening would be 
tremendously helpful. Regardless of where a film played and 
what business you did, you would still have those advertising 
costs for opening in New York. 

Q: Is there any way to get around that? 

FS: This is what we're doing at the Art Theater starting March 
1st. We set it up so that independents could come in for a 
reasonable amount of money. It's set up in a calendar format. 
Each filmmaker pays a proportionate share of all costs, 
depending upon the number of days the film plays. We can 
get a theater for a minimal risk that way. Instead of a strict 
90/10 arrangement, which we would get uptown, we will be 
getting a floor, so the producer would be getting something 
back from his or her investment no matter what — unless, of 
course, nobody comes to the theater. 

We are pointing up 50,000 calendars. They'll be in all the 
Cinema 5 theaters, and posted up around town in strategic 
locations — not wildcat postering, but universities and places 
like that. We expect that every one of the filmmakers who has 
a specialized audience for his or her film, like labor, or history, 
to get behind those groups and do their own mailings in addi- 
tion to the calendar. Of course, if anyone wants to spend more 
money for newspaper ads — terrific! 

I feel very proud of having accomplished this. It's what I want 
to do — give a group of producers much more exposure than 
they would have if they did it on their own. 

Q: Is there anything you feel filmmakers should know about 
making feature films? 

FS: Sure, but I don't think you can convince a filmmaker not 
to make a film the way he or she wants to make it. We don't 
accept every film that we see. If it's something we think is un- 
marketable commercially, we tell them that. I am a moviegoer. 
I know what I like. I've been wrong, but I've also been right. I 
don't care whether the sky is a little too blue or the grass a 
little too green. I know what I would go to see, as an ordinary 

Q: What about trailers, do you use them? 

FS: We can. We try to encourage it. Filmmakers usually don't 
think about it, but I bring it to their attention. Then again, a lot 
of our films are in 16mm, and most 16mm films don't have 

Q: What about doing a blow-up to 35mm? 

FS: I will not convince anyone to blow up a film until the com- 
mercial potential has been tried and proved to be worth at 
least the $20,000 it would cost. It is helpful, though, because a 
lot of the places we might play at don't have facilities for 
showing 16mm. 

Q: What about European festivals? Do they help? 

FS: Outside of the Cannes Festival, I don't think so. Alam- 
brista and Northern Lights did well at Cannes, 
and it helped, particularly for foreign sales. But in this 
country, people don't really know the festivals outside of 

Q: Some people feel that the New York critics don't have the 
framework to judge a non-Hollywood film. Do you think that's 

FS: I don't think so. A critic might forego a screening of an in- 
dependent film as against a Hollywood film if they had a full 
calendar, but I don't think they have any prejudice against 

Q: What effect do you see the new technologies — cable, 
videodisc, and television in general — having on feature films, 
particularly by independents? 

FS: We've had cable for quite some time. We've had televi- 
sion for quite some time. There's a way to get your theatrical 
outlet first, and still make your cable deals. Of course, there 
are other instances where a film which doesn't do that well 
theatrically could sell to cable. 

Q: Are you or any of your filmmakers involved with cable 

FS: We are now going into it, but our basic business is 
theatrical. We think that's where it should be. We think that 
every person who doesn't have a cable set should have the 
chance to see a particular movie in a theatre. That's the prob- 
lem now, but we're starting to get results. 

Q: Some people say that theatrical distribution is dying out. 
What do you think? 

FS: I don't believe it. I don't think there's anything that will 
help the motion picture industry as much as a good movie. 
People want to go out. They don't want to stay home. They'll 
go to the movies if there's a good picture. 


KIDVID Comes to Coble 

by Sandy Mandelberger 

Associate Administrator, ICAP 

In the trade, children's programming is called "kidvid," 
and ranks a close third, behind feature films and sports, 
as cable's most effective audience attracter. As 
America goes the way of cable, with established 
systems expanding their formats and new systems con- 
tinually arriving, film and video produced for children 
will be in unprecedented demand. 

Cable — or community television (CATV) — was in- 
augurated to enable areas far away from or topo- 
graphically cut off from major cities to receive over-the- 
air signals. In these areas in the 1950's and 1960's, a 
cable connection to a large antenna meant individual 
viewing households could receive "Captain Kangaroo." 
In the 1970's, cable's ability to deliver twenty or more 
channels created a need for original productions — and 
made such productions potentially profitable. As 
subscriber numbers soar and cable moves from its 
traditional rural base to the lucrative urban market, pro- 
ductions specifically mounted for cable have evolved 
from a cautious experiment to a multi-million dollar in- 

Cable is emerging as an alternative to commercial, so- 
called "free" television. The last ten years have 
demonstrated that viewers are willing to pay a nominal 
fee (generally five to ten dollars) to receive produced- 
for-cable programming in their homes. Parents con- 
cerned with the advertising-determined and often mind- 
lessly violent nature of most commercial television are 
turning in increasing numbers to cable television as a 
potentially more enlightened source of quality program- 
ming, including educational materials. 

What makes cable children's programming different 
from typical broadcast materials? Programming and 
format are the main distinctions. Children's program- 
ming on broadcast televisionis locked into half-hour or 
hour-long formats. Commercial television specializes in 
either cartoon animation or live-action replication of 
adult shows. Rarely is there a mix of styles, subjects, or 
formats. Most of the material is produced in-house, 
without contributions from independent sources. Com- 
mercial fare has been criticized for perpetuating sexual 
and racial stereotypes, and its advertising has resulted 
in a heated national debate on the merits of "pitching" 
products directly to children which are of questionable 
necessity or quality. 

Cable children's programmins has, so far, avoided 
many of these pitfalls. The major children's series rely 
heavily on a wide range of material from many sources. 
Liveaction, original drama, animated/experimental 
shorts, and "educative" (not traditional educational) 
films of varying lengths and styles are programmed 
together. Multi-media programming can highlight a par- 
ticular theme, while illustrating a multitude of methods 
which communicate the same (or compatible) informa- 
tion. The mixed-bag approach to programming allows 
the child to develop a strong visual sense, while ex- 


panding his/her approach to what visual imagery can 

Programmers stress that programs must relate to the 
child from his/her point of view. Programming that is 
from the adult perspective, or that attempts to replicate 
standard adult television, will not be successful in a 
cable format. The accent is on content, color, move- 
ment and relate-ability. Advertising, as yet, is not 
significant enough to be deemed a threat. 

Similar to the development of radio, cable is being 
utilized to reach a targeted audience with specialized 
programs (referred to as "narrowcasting"). Series are 
programmed with age range and geographical location 
of audiences in mind. Many of the PBS children's series 
have been criticized for being exclusively urban-biased; 
as a result, many cable progammers (quite a few of 
whom are PBS veterans) are sensitive to the con- 
siderable rural and suburban audience that cable 
originally served, and work toward a healthy urban and 
rural mix in programming content. 

Series are typically designed following one of two 
models: 1) short segments which are introduced by and 
developed around a live or animated "host"; or 2) a 
continuous program "loop" which can be mixed and 
matched with other loops or individual programs within 
age-specific programming blocks. Programs (or seg- 
ments) are generally repeated at least once a week 
(which solves some of the "ruled by the TV schedule" 
problem that plagues commercial TV viewers). 
Audience mail indicates that young viewers actually 
welcome repeated programs. 

Although many smaller cable systems generate their 
own children's programming, the nationally based 
series that are delivered to hundreds of systems via 
domestic satellite are clearly the most influential. The 
following cable networks devoted to children's pro- 
gramming rely heavily, for the materials they include in 
their programs, on the works of independent producers. 
"Calliope," the children's service of USA Network (a 
cable system specializing in live sporting events) 
reaches a potential audience of six million. Hosted by 
the voice of Gene Francis, "Calliope" programming is 
geared towards seven to fourteen-year-olds and covers 
a broad range of topics and genres. It is seen Monday 
through Friday for one hour in the early evening with 
three-hour repeats on Saturday morning. It is, in- 
terestingly, advertising-supported. 

"Pinwheel" is an innovative children's series produced 
by Warner-Amex Cable. Targeted to a pre-school 
audience, "Pinwheel" is a programming loop which 
repeats programs for twelve hours a day. Dr. Vivian 
Horner, Vice President of Program Development for 
Warner-Amex, describes it as "an electronic sandbox. 
It's always there. You can play with it when you like." 
this continuous programming is geared towards 


younger viewers who tend to vary greatly in both con- 
centration and comprehension levels. 

"Nickelodeon" the Warner-Amex satellite-delivered 
children's series, is centrally produced and distributed 
to over two million households, not only those on 
Warner-Amex systems. "Nickelodeon" runs for twelve 
hours a day and is formatted into three age-specific 
blocks: very young children, intermediate age viewers, 
and pre-adolescents. 

While children's cable programming offers much hope, 
it has not avoided the problem of who pays the piper. 
The big question in many minds is: Will advertising 
eventually determine the content and direction of pro- 
gramming? Peggy Charen, President of Action for 
Children's Television (ACT) warns that advertising "will 
undermine the very reason many parents look forward 
to cable;" since advertising requires programs that ap- 
peal across the board, this "would cause children's 
[cable] TV to be a disaster in meeting children's needs." 
While the cable networks have expressed their inten- 
tion to be "highly selective" about which advertisers 
will be solicited, advertising (perhaps as a primary 
source of revenue) seems to be an inevitable develop- 
ment in future cable programming. 

As established systems expand to nearly twenty-four- 
hour schedules (Showtime: Cinemax, an add-on service 
to Home Box Office), and as new cable systems arrive 
on the horizon (CBS Cable, ABC Video Enterprises, 
Rainbow) daytime schedules will include more 
children's and family-oriented programming. As the 
technology grows more sophisticated, television will 
further explore the possibilities of viewer interaction. 
Two-way cable (such as the Warner-Amex QUBE system 
in Columbus, OH) may revolutionize the way children's 
programs are produced and presented. 

With all these new developments, there is an apparently 
limitless need for original, inventive programming. Of 
primary interest to buyers are: original children's 
dramas, short/experimental works that accentuate 

color and movement, films dealing with sports, 
animals, children's entertainment (circuses, puppet 
shows), travel films, nature films, and educative "how 
to" (crafts, models) films. Film and video formats may 
vary from system to system, but material is generally 
transmitted on one-inch or two-inch quad tape, and the 
costs of transfer from three-quarter-inch cassette, 
16mm, or 35mm prints are generally assumed by the 
cable system. 

Although producers do sell rights directly to cable, pro- 
grammers often prefer to deal with distributors when 
acquiring material; it is more efficient for them to com- 
municate with a central source for a volume of product 
than to negotiate many different contracts with in- 
dividual artists. Independent Cinema Artists and pro- 
ducers (ICAP) is a non-profit distribution service which 
has been marketing independent film and video to 
cable systems since 1975. ICAP deals extensively with 
all the services mentioned above and with new services 
as they develop. Independent film and videomakers 
who have a film or tape they feel would work well on 
cable television should send a brief description, title 
and running time to ICAP's office or call (212/533-9180) 
between 10:00am and 6:00pm for additional information 
about services and marketing strategies. 

Distribution agents such as ICAP who are aware of the 
market and the going prices for leasing film and video 
can be crucial to the independent film or videomaker 
entering the maze of cable programming. As the trade 
publications announce with increasing frequency, KID- 
VID is the industry's friskiest "comer." 

Warner-Amex Cable 


1122 Avenue of the Americas 

New York, NY 10036 


625 Broadway 

New York, NY 10012 

USA Network 


208 Harristown Road 

Glen Rock, NY 07452 

Warner-Amex Cable 


44 Est 50th Street 

New York, NY 10036 

The Media Alliance, Inc., an organization of media centers and 
artists/producers, working in electronic media throughout NY 
State, is producing a 3 day conference in Rochester April 23 
thru 25 at Portable Channel and Visual Studies Workshop. 

The purpose of the conference is to weld a coalition of 
centers and independents to increase visibility and advocacy 
for the field. 

Topics will include: New Models for the Delivery of Production 
& Post-Production Services: Who Should Have Hardware & 
Why?; Earning Income: Walking the Tightrope between Profit/ 
Non-Profit; Articulating the Field: Developing Criticism and 
Curatorship. The format of the conference will be discussions/ 
workgroups. The conference will conclude with the Alliance's 
Annual meeting and the Election of the new Board of Direc- 
tors, including 2 artists/producers. Travel subsidies may be 
available. For further information contact: Ardele Lister at 212) 


New Technology 

by Maxine Haleff 

The new technologies of the '80's present new oppor- 
tunities for producers, but can independents take ad- 
vantage of these technological plums or will they be 
the province of big corporate effort? Since knowledge 
is power, and even in some cases low power, AIVF 
presented a series of evenings on New Technologies 
for Independents. Programs given in December, 1980 in- 
cluded "Low Power TV — The Way to Indie TV?", "Pro- 
ducing for Video-disc" and "Independent Distribution 
via Satellite". Another program "3-D TV and Digital 
Television" hosted by Theodore Conant was given 
January 8th. 

The most spectacular event was the demonstration by 
Stephen Gregory a producer with MIT's Architecture 
Machine Group which included a tape about their inter- 
active videodisc which allows the viewer to travel 
through the streets of Aspen, Colorado, as if in a car 
and then stop at will and see the interior of a building. 
The operator could make all the decisions as to what 
was seen on the screen and since 54000 frames can be 
stored on each side of a videodisc there can be con- 
siderable choice. 

Opening the program, Patrick McEntee, the only soft- 
ware producer with Sony, explained the reasons for a 
producer's choice of videodisc and gave the first show- 
ing anywhere of Sony's new interactive videodisc 
machine, which contains a computer. This intelligent 
microprocessor is built right into a device called a 
"commander", which has buttons like a calculator and 
can be removed from the machine for remote control. It 
will not be for the consumer market, but for industrial 
use in institutions, corporations, libraries, art galleries 
and museums. McEntee stated that he saw "advan- 
tages to the optical reflector videodisc which indicate 
creative possibilities for producers unparalleled in the 
history of the medium." Some of the advantages were 
durability, ability to use each frame independently, and 
ability to interface with computers, due to random ac- 
cess capability. McEntee pointed out that in choosing 
to use videodisc for a program on a cost effective 
basis, criteria would include the complexity of the pro- 
gram, the use of still frames, the importance of learner 
response, and its lasting value. He even suggested that 
videodiscs could appreciate in value like an art object. 
However themuch ballyhooed low cost of duplication 
only applies to quantity production. At this time there is 
a six week average duplicating time and a high mini- 
mum cost for mastering which runs around $2,000. The 
longer the program is, the more the price break com- 
pares favorably with that of video tape. If the program is 
around an hour and at least a thousand discs are pro- 
duced the cost will be competitive with videotape. 
When the time comes that videodiscs are produced in 
the large quantities of phonograph records, then a 
movie might be bought for about twice the cost of your 
favorite recording. 


Videodiscs are most valuable for interactive program- 
ming, while for linear programming, tape would still be 
the medium of choice. A branch program is designed 
from the start as a resource of separate segments 
rather than a whole, McEntee explained. The viewer 
selects only the segments that he or she wants to see 
and watches only in the order desired. Computer data is 
stored on the disc and images can be stored and 
manipulated. "This is a machine supported multimedia 
dialogue with the viewer. The whole level is where we 
begin to see a different type of video." Each viewer can 
create a new path in a tape or a disc. The big difference 
is the time required for segment access, about 4 
seconds in the case of the disc. Still frames can be held 
for as long as needed, which is important in reading 
written material where 1 frame can do the work of 150 
frames on tape. The availability of several audio tracks 
can allow the same footage to be used in different ways 
for added effectiveness. Although there is a potential 
for different kinds of learning and motivation, there will 
also be a loss of directorial control, because the viewer 
can change scenes at will. 

As Gregory demonstrated, the MIT project has taken 
advantage of the capabilities and then some. It has 
added refinements, such as a computer that speaks 
and tells the viewer what street is being shown on the 
screen at Aspen, or a screen that responds to a touch 
of the viewer by providing a closeup or interior. Graphic 
symbols on the bottom of the screen can be touched at 
will to aid in steering. The MIT project started three and 
a half years ago using discs as part of an experiment to 
study how people can communicate with machines. 
The computer is the basis of the interactive system and 
Gregory estimates that the Aspen project could be 
stored on a micro computer like an Apple. Other proj- 
ects include a telephone that can be called up on the 
screen where the number is dialed by touch tone and 
the calling up of shapes and colors to the screen by 
voice. Many of the demonstrations make amusing 
sequences in themselves. One of the most ingenious 
was a view of many faces of people at Aspen, with the 
eyes all shot in registration. The disc called up the 
faced frame by frame at what Gregory called "30 faces 
a second." 

Starting off the session of Independent Distribution via 
Satellite, Sandy Mandelberger of ICAP gave a short 
history of the medium which started in 1976 when 
Home Box Office tried an experiment on RCA SatCom I. 
Western Union came in with their Westar satellite, and 
now there is an unprecedented demand for transponder 
space. With major networks like CBS and ABC leasing 
time, it has become very expensive. ICAP, which 
started distributing independent program to cable in 
1975, has found there is an increasing demand for in- 
dependent product and is concentrating on "narrow- 
casting", or aiming at a specific audience, such as 


children's programming or arts programming. Because 
of the demand it was pointed out that there is alot more 
production specifically for cable. 

Andy Horowitz, president of Shared Communications 
Systems, Inc. talked about the handbook which he 
prepared under an NEA grant titled The Independent 
Producer's Handbook of Satellite Communications. It is 
distributed by AIVF and the American Film Institute, 
which makes an interesting combination in itself. This 
book will fill you in on such terms as GigaHerz, Local 
Loop, Uplink, Downlink, transponder, and dish, as well 
as explain how a satellite and earth station operates. 
He explained that all broadcast market areas were in- 
volved with using satellites, but that cable tv is where 
the boom is taking place. The book is designed to give 
the independent producer a road map and guideposts 
to approach the market as an individual, through 
distributors that package like ICAP, or eventually 
through the creation of new networks. In a couple of 
years he predicted that there would be more trans- 
ponders available, and the Carnegie corporation is look- 
ing into the idea of actually establishing such a net- 
work run by the independent community. 

Kim Spencer of the Public Interest Video Network told 
about the work of his group, which was originally formed 
to broadcast a live program "Nuclear Power: The Public 
Reaction" in connection with an antinuclear rally in 
Washington D.C. on May 6, 1979. 

This utilized PBS satellite time, taking advantage of the 
law which states that any nonprofit group could pay for 
use of the PBS system if time were available. The pro- 
gram was carried by 15 stations live with no guarantee 
of content. As Spencer pointed out this eliminates the 
network as "gatekeeper". With the success of their first 
program, the group next broadcast a program on abor- 
tion, "Right to Live vs. the Right to Choose" from Cin- 
cinnati, and this time more stations picked it up. At that 
time they got a grant to pay the $2,000 for the satellite 
time and gave the program away to PBS stations. Nine 
months later "Over A Barrel" was produced. This pro- 
gram about the energy crisis was funded by the 
Machinist's Union and broadcast over cable. PIVN is 
interested in interactive programming as well as live 
programming, and Spencer showed a tape of the 
group's Thanksgiving program, which started at 
daybreak with an invocation to the sun at Plymouth 
Rock. Five locations were known, as people held their 
Thanksgiving festivities and talked back and forth to 
one another over the air. 

If the mind boggles at a satellite 22,000 feet over the 
equator, the independent producer can look into low 
power tv. The session on this medium was hosted by 

Dee Dee Halleck and featured Michael Cousins of the 
F.C.C. who gave a short resume of the F.C.C.'s skir- 
mishes with low power. The system originated out 
West where it was impossible to broadcast across 
mountains, so special broadcasting facilities were set 
up for short range transmission. Seeing that local com- 
munities were not going to give up their low power 
broadcasting facilities the F.C.C. decided it would have 
to license them, but at first prohibited any original pro- 
gramming. Cousins has drawn up a bill that would allow 
much more freedom for low power stations. 

On January 11th Ted Conant and Nat Myers showed 
demonstration tapes and film of new technological 
breakthroughs, including 3D for TV. Conant, who had 
worked on EVR feels that videodisc is ideal for presen- 
tations of music, since recordings can be made with 
less than 1% distortion. He screened a program from 
the Jerusalem Music Center in Israel called "Conflict 
and Harmony", which featured a discussion with Isaac 
Stern. This show was put on tape and disc, but the im- 
portant feature about disc for long term play is that 
there is no decrease in quality over the years. Intro- 
ducing work by Bill Etra and his Rutt-Etra Syhthesizer, 
Conant pointed out that his tapes were sent all over the 
globe with a message on it in which he used to say, "I 
bring you greetings from Greenwich Village the high 
technology capital of the world." Etra's devide created 
a program utilizing synthetic music and abstract color 
which was produced for the Japanese Royal family. 
Conant also showed a Japanese 3D television program 
for children, which works if you shut one eye. The 
Australians saw the technique and developed a system 
without glasses. If you wear glasses you get 3D, but 
without the glasses the image is perfectly clear. 

Nat Myers explained how the Australian system works 
before showing a film of an Australian TV program shot 
in 3D. The system is an optical one which depends on a 
lens which repositions the area of absolute focus. It is 
the out of focus areas of the picture which allow one to 
see 3D if glasses are worn. Glasses with one red lens 
and one green lens were passed out to the members of 
the audience who were treated to spears being thrown 
at them and a large spider which crawled up the screen. 
An explanation of the DOT method was also given. This 
is Digital Optical Techology which can take an analog 
signal, convert it to digital and then reconvert it to 

All of these processes should change the look of future 
TV though, as Myers explained when he showed an old 
stereo card from around 1870, the public is always 
hungry for new technologies, but the old stuff was fun 
too. It will, of course all depend on how ingenious the 
new producers can be. 


Medio Clips 



The Independents, a new series of award-winning documen- 
taries by independent producers being distributed via- 
satellite, has met with a strong and positive response from 
public television program managers across the United States. 
The series, which began its regular weekly feeds over 
Westar-1 on January 8, is made up of 13 one-hour programs 
showcasing the work of 28 independent film and video 

The response of The Independents has been so encouraging 
that the IFVDC is planning three new series of The Indepen- 
dents to be distributed in the next eighteen months. The 
series currently being assembled are The Independents-ll: 
Documentaries and Documentary/Dramas; The Independents- 
Ill: Animation, Films made with the Optical Printer and Com- 
puter Generated Imagery; and The Independents-IV: Indepen- 
dent Features and Short Fiction. For information regarding 
The Independents or any facet of the Independent Film and 
Video Distribution Center, please contact Douglas Cruick- 
shank, Director; IFVDC; PO Box 6060; Boulder, CO. 80306. 
(303) 469-5234. 


Some New Faces, a non-profit production group active in 
"access" programming since 1970, recently received a $2000 
award from the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of 
New York. The funds were granted in recognition of the out- 
standing efforts of Some New Faces (SNF) in presenting 
young and new talent to the public via cable TV. 

SNF has moved its regular weekly program from Public Ac- 
cess Channel C to City Channel L for 1981. Gary Morgan, 
Artistic Director for SNF seeks a program schedule shared 
with other non-profit organizations. This initiative is the first 
in a growing series of programs produced by local non-profit 
cultural and civic groups on City Channel L. An extension of 
these programs will comprise the proposed Policy/Culture 
series, a weekly evening devoted to the arts and public affairs. 
Some New Faces will be aired each Wednesday evening at 
8:00, 9:00, and 11:00 pm. 


Media Network: The Information Center has just launched two 
new services for producers and media activists called Media 
Network and the Community Media Project. The Information 
Center is a clearinghouse for people who need to find a par- 
ticular film, videotape or slideshow on a particular issue. The 
Media Network will be a network of activists and organiza- 
tions working to use the media to inform, empower and in- 
spire. The Community Media Project (CMP) is a new program 
being planned to help grassroots and community groups in 
New York City put together screenings/discussion programs 
on theif self-identified concerns. The staff includes: Marc 
Weiss, James Gaffney, and Lina Newhouser. For more infor- 
mation write: Media Network, 208 West 13 St., NY NY 10014. 

Pop Network: The Pop Network is a maverick satellite televi- 
sion network which will innovatively distribute, via Westar 
111, popular culture (18-34 year old) programming. 

A privately-financed duo of television pioneers, Cliff Friedland 
and Rick Blume, produce the Pop show seen weekly on 
Manhattan's cable Channel J. Pop will offer original comedy; 
vintage science-fiction and horror films; simulcast live con- 
certs; video's and animations of all aspects of popular music. 
The Pop Network also offers video services to clubs and is 
presently, simultaneously taping live music performances and 
programming pre-recorded video throughout the club on clos- 
ed circuit monitors. 

By sydicating, Pop plans to launch the network at the NAPTE 
(National Assoc, of Programmers and TV Executives) conven- 
tion. Persons with music or other popular culture programs 
looking for an outlet should contact Rick Blume at 473-3667 or 

New Public Arts Network: The nations first non-commercial 
TV network devoted exclusively to the arts is being developed 
as part of a feasibility study supported by the Yew York State 
Council on the Arts. The Public Arts Network project will 
create a plan for linking New York State cable systems 
together into a network for arts programming produced in the 
state. Part of the network design will include the capability for 
live transmission of productions from media and performing 
arts centers, museums and other facilities. 

While the feasibility study progresses, affiliates will, (on an 
experimental basis,) exchange and program arts software pro- 
duced by one another, and by other local groups and public 
agencies.) Approximately one hundred hours of product will 
be included in the preliminary programming cycle, enough for 
a weekly two-hour showcase. 

The project is directed by Steven T. Lawrence, a staff pro- 
ducer for the Public Interest Video Network, and by William F. 
Rushton, staff director of the Tri-state Regional Planning 
Commission's "Project Metrolink" telecommunications study. 
For more info, contact Bill Rushton, (212) 938-3321 or -3368. 
After hours call 695-0623. 


VIEW, the first magazine devoted to cable TV programming 
will publish in June cable's first ever Self-Booking Guide, 
Cable Software Sourcebook '81. This book will be a complete 
directory of all "standalone" product available to the cable 
industry, including feature films, TV shows, shorts children's 
programs and instructional material. All will be listed by 
category and cross-referenced by distributor. 

As more and more operators choose to book product on a 
standalone basis, there will be greater need for the 
Sourcebook. It will be an invaluable took for the cable 
operator as s/he expands his/her channel capacity and 
complements his/her satellite-delivered channels with pro- 
gram offerings that are targeted specifically for his/her 

Cable Software Sourcebook '81 will be distributed at the 
NCTA convention in Los Angeles and will be available as a 
reference tool throughout the year for a cost of $75. Also, one 
free copy will be made available to every cable system. For 
listings form and more info, contact Laurie Winer at VIEW, 150 
East 58th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10022. (212) 826-4280. 


The Federal Communications Commission has modified its 
rules concerning the interim processing of low-power tele- 
vision, imposing a limit of 15 per entity until the Commission 
makes a final determination. Also, low-power facility cutoff 
lists will now be issued bi-monthly. 

The National Association of Broadcasters is attempting to 
change the law barring their full-service broadcasters from the 
low-power business. Comments to the FCC are being sought 
on the issue. 

Any independents or non-profits that are applying for low- 
power stations, please write or call AIVF. 

PT.V. Legislation 

The status of the new P.T.V. Financing Act has changed 
drastically. Word from Congress is that an extension of 
the current P.T.V. Financing Act of 1978 for 2 years is 
most likely. If this is the case, then oversight hearings 
of CPB will have to take place sometime before May 15, 
1981. AIVF is now planning the formation of a PTV Act 
Action Committee to develop a white paper that will 
provide the basis for our testimony. An open meeting of 
concerned producers will be held (date to be announc- 
ed) to preview those positions and seek input from the 
membership. Some of the issues likely to be reviewed 

1. Local Programming decline on PTV. 

2. Analysis of "Substantial Amount" specification 
for Independents and overall financing. 

3. Commercialization of PTV. 

4. Control and Accessability of stations. 

5. A System-wide Analysis outlining barriers to Inde- 
pendent programming. 

We want to encourage all producers and media centers 
to articulate their perspective. The names of the House 
Sub-committee members that will want to hear from 
community and media constituencies are: 

media clips 




Timothy E. Wirth, D-CO 


2454 RHOB 


Ronald M. Mottl, D-OH 
2459 RHOB 

James H. Scheuer, D-NY 

2402 RHOB 


Edwad J. Markey, D-MA 

403 CHOB 


Thomas A. Luken, D-OH 

240 CHOB 


Al Swift, D-WASH 
1511 LHOB 

Henry A. Waxman, 
2418 RHOB 



Gail Leach 

Brian Hyps 
Kay Moran 

Greg Babyak 
Judy Simmons 

Nancy McNarny 
Nancy O'Malley 

Steve Jacobs 
Trish Palmer 

Drew Pettus 
Joyce Garnett 

Bruce Wolpe 
Nora Lucey 

Cardiss Collins, D-IL 
2438 RHOB 

Denise Wilson 
Sandy Byrd 

W. J. ("Billy") Tauzin, D-LA 

222 CHOB 


Roy Willis, 
Wallace Henderson 
Marsha Shaffer 

John D. Dingell, D-MI 
Ex Officio 
2221 RHOB 

James M. Collins, R-TX 

Ranking Republican 

2419 RHOB 



Bernie Wunder 
Pam Bozick 

Matthew J. Rinaldo, R-NJ 

2338 RHOB 


Cecile Srodes 
Betty Blackshaw 

Carlos J. Moorhead, R-CA 

2346 RHOB 


Joy Stevens 
Barbara Reynolds 

Marc L. Marks, R-PA 
1424 LHOB 

Bev Andrews 
Sharon Frazier 

Thomas J. Tauke, R-IA 
319 CHOB 
X-5291 1 

Rick Steketee 
Gladys Hendrix 

Thomas J. Bliley, Jr., R-VA 

214 CHOB 


Javid Mason 
Phyllis Troy 

James T. Broyhill, R-NC 
Ex Officio 
2340 RHOB 

Patricia Knight 
Lynn Clayton 


Consuela Washington (SEC) 

2145 RHOB 



Randy Davis 
2322 RHOB 


Bill Diefenderfer 
Ward White 
130 RSOB 

For more information, contact John T. Rice at AIVF 
(212) 473-3400. 


Video'80 in San Francisco 

By Paul Kleyman 

San Francisco's Video 80 festival director Stephen 
Agetstein parlayed a miniscule $2300 budget — "not 
one penny of which came from grants" — into a week- 
long event that brought video to 18 Bay Area sites, 
broke attendance records, screened an international 
selection of work by 52 artists, filled hours on two 
public television stations and produced a catalogue 
chock full of articles on every aspect of the video art 

The annual event had been nurtured for six previous 
years under the wind of the San Francisco Art Commis- 
sion's arts festival. After Agetstein organized the 1979 
edition, he became determined to ween the tiny local 
affair by creating an independent event. "Not one foun- 
dation or funding agency responded to our proposal," 
Agetstein said, "So, we ended up paying costs with a 
handful of private donations, catalogue advertisements, 
admissions and exhibition or broadcast fees." 

Agetstein, himself a videographer for 10 years, 
eliminated entry fees and festival awards. Instead, each 
exhibitor received a $100 rental fee. Included were 28 
invited artists and 24 other who were chosen from 234 
entrants. Composing the Selection Committee were 
David Ross of Berkeley's University Art Museum, Kathy 
Huffman of the Long Beach Museum and Vancouver's 
Paul Wong. New works were shown by such mainstays 
as Peter D'Agostino, Fitzgerald and Sanborn, Terry Fox 
and the Kipper Kids. Notable among new-comers was 
Tony Oursler of Hollywood, whose student work, "The 
Loner," was one of the more inventive pieces to emerge 
from Video 80. Other tapes were from Japan, Canada 
and West Germany. 

Boosted for the first time by San Francisco news- 
papers, which had shunned independent video in 
previous years, the festival attracted standing-room 
crowds for the first time to Berkeley's University Art 
Museum for two weeks running. Not only was the 
festival programmed at such established locations as 
La Mamelle and the San Francisco Museum of Modern 
Art, but also in unusual settings intended to introduce 
video art to audiences unfamiliar with it. Many 
European tapes were screened at the Goethe Institute 
and tapes were played in a bar — and a punk rock club. 
A luncheon crowd at Galerie de Blanche, one of San 
Francisco's more picturesque little eateries, discovered 
video and a spread of shrimp salad and French wine, 
compliments of the proprietor. A "Video Cabaret" at a 

North Beach night spot was hosted disco-style by 
comic videographer Willie Walker. 

During the week, public television station KCSM, chan- 
nel 60, broadcast a total of six late night hours of Video 
80 entries. One of the four airings drew an unprece- 
dented 400,000 viewer (10% of total audience) for the 
small station, according to Agetstein. KQED, Channel 
9, the region's major public station scheduled four half- 
hour Video 80 "highlights" programs that were broad- 
cast in January. Agetstein said the station paid $9 per 
minute for the programs, higher than it has ever paid for 
independent productions. 

Agetstein and "Video 80" catalogue editor Wendy 
Garfield are now packaging a "road show" edition for 
tour to museums and video centers around the country. 
"We have also been approached about it by people in 
Australia, France and West Germany," Agetstein said. 
The 50-page catalogue is available for $4.50 post-paid 
from Video 80, 229 Cortland, San Francisco, CA 94110. 

Also recently, San Francisco's La Mamelle released its 
500-page chronicle of California avant garde art 
throughout the 1970's. Two years in the making, the 
quality paperback "sourcebook" documents virtually 
every contribution to non-traditional art in California for 
the past decade and, in so doing, details the con- 
siderable place of video art. Titled, "Performance 
Anthology," the book has been adopted as a text at 
several art schools and is already scheduled for a sec- 
ond printing. Volumes cost $17.95 post-paid to La 
Mamelle, PO Box 3123, San Francisco, CA 94119. 

An historical footnote: San Francisco's Landmarks 
Preservation Advisory Board recognized the warehouse 
at 202 Green Street as "the birthplace of television" 
but, judging the structure as "not particularly dis- 
tinguished," the body refused the protection afforded 
by official landmark status. From his laboratory in that 
building in 1927, Philo T. Farnsworth transmitted the 
first television signal to a receiver eight blocks away. 
The denial, urged by the site's owner, was protested by 
Farnsworth's widow and son. "They only like ginger- 
bread and Victorians," objected Philo Farnsworth III, 
who is also an inventor. 

Paul Kleyman is the Publications Director of Bay Area 
Lawyers for the Arts and contributes articles to 
"Videography" and "Publisher's Weekly." 




FOR SALE: Sony 1600 color camera 
with CCU, AC box & lens. Asking 
$950. Excellent condition. Call (212) 

FOR SALE: Canon zoom lens, F 1.6, 
18-108mm. Call (212) 233-5851. 

FOR RENT: Sony %" color porta- 
paks/cameras. Call (212) 233-5851. 

FOR RENT: CP 16, $80/day. Canon 
Scoopic, $30/day. (212) 781-7208. 

FOR SALE: Sony DXC 1610 and VO 
3800 portapak. Sony 3450 b/w 
camera w/Nuvicon tube. Excellent 
condition, $4500. Call (518) 
482-9330, ask for Mike. 

FOR RENT: Arri 16SR package com- 
plete. 2 mags., 3 batteries, variable 
speed control, finder extender, 
bellows Matt box, shoulder pad, 
10-150 Angenieux zoom lens, all 
filters, O'Connor 50D head, legs, 
baby legs, high-hat, lights. Call (212) 

Sony DXC 1640 camera, VO 4800 
deck, fast-change sun gun kit, 
RE-18 cardioid mics, w/operator, 
$200/day. Special consideration for 
progressive groups. Instruction 
available. Progressive Video, (415) 
540-0827, -0848. 

FOR SALE: GC 4400 video camera, 
brand new condition, $1700 com- 
plete. Call Joe Bulger, 9 am-5 pm, 
(415) 989-6717. 

Film-Makers Co-op is offering for 
sale the following equipment: CP- 
16A with Angenieux 12-120 f2.2 
lens, magazine, charger & 2 bat- 
teries (2 for sale; $3000 ea.); heavy- 
duty case fo CP-16A (some exterior 
damage but good condition, $50); 
lightweight metal case for CP-16A 
($25); Bolex H-16 w/25mm lens 
($250); Bolex H-16 body, fair condi- 
tion ($100); Moviscop viewers ($95); 
Ediquip timer & magnetic sound 
reader ($35 ea.); Meter-Hancock hot 
splicers ($95 ea.); Ediquip magnetic 
sound reader amplifiers ($50 ea.); 
Sekonic light meter ($50); CP-16 rain 
cover ($25 ea.). Send offers to: 
AFCo-op, 4333 Chickasaw Drive, 
Huntsville AL 35801, (205) 534-3247. 


6-plate Steenbeck, rewinds and 
table, splicers, 8 split reels, syn- 
chronizer, Moviscop, airconditioner, 
typewriter, desk, phone, rug, 
shelves and rack. Rates: $40/day; 
$175/wk; $625/mth. Monthly rate 
negotiable. Kit Clarke, 1697 Broad- 
way, New York NY 10019, (212) 

FACILITIES available. Fully- 
equipped rooms, 24-hour access in 
security building. Two 6-plate 
Steenbecks, one 16/35 KEM, sound 
transfers from 1 /4" to 16mm & 
35mm mag, narration recording, ex- 
tensive sound effects library, inter- 
lock screening room. Contact Cine- 
tudes Film Prod. Ltd., 377 Broad- 
way, NY NY 10012, (212) 966-4600. 

CENTER is a public access 16mm 
editing and postproduction center. 
Facilities: 6-plate Moviola, editing 
bench, animation stand, small op- 
tical printer, conforming room, 
sound transfers, mixes, b/w film lab. 
For more info: ARMC, Ohio Univ. 
Dept of Film, Lindley Hall, Rm. 378, 
Athens OH 45701, (614) 594-5138. 

3/ 4 " EDITING, Sony 2860, RM 430, 
$25/hr; $150/day w/operator. Longer 
bookings by arrangement. Color 
camera and deck w/operator, $200/ 
day. Original Face Video, (415) 

3/4" EDITING: New JVC Direct Drive 
Editing System now available for 
use. Full shuttle control up to 5x 
w/audio and video. Programmable 
in/out. FM dub. Preview/review. $40/ 
hr w/operator; $30/without. Total 
Video Co., (415) 583-8236 or 

with JVC KY-2000 broadcast-level 
camera. 3 A" editing, $25/hr. Video 
Arts, (415) 468-0792. 


28-June 3. Restricted to feature 
length, fiction films, 16mm or 
35mm. Deadline: March 15. Contact: 
Comune Di Firenze, Cooperativa 

L'Azelier, Via Martiri Del Popolo 27, 
50122 Florence, ITALY, (055) 

representative Peter B. Shumann 
will be in New York March 1-March 
16 to select films for this year's 
festival. For info: Goethe House, 
German Cultural Institute, 1014 
Fifth Ave., NY NY 18818, (212) 

22-24. Deadline: September 21. For 
info: David Burke, Festival Director, 
Athens Video Festival, Box 388, 
Athens OH 45701. 


FESTIVAL, Oct. -Dec, 1981: 
Technology & the Artists: 
1950-2100. Representative Peter 
Rubin will be touring US and select- 
ing material April 17-July 15. For 
info, contact: HEF, Postbus 5776, 
1017 AT, Amsterdam, HOLLAND. 

held from April 27 thru May 3. Open 
to all student and independent film- 
makers, 16mm optical sound or 
silent films under one hour. Dead- 
line: April 22. For more info: Philip 
Middlemiss, HFF, Theatre Arts 
Dept., Humboldt State Univ., Areata 
CA 95521, (707) 826-3566. 


a $400,000 loan to the Film Forum, 
enabling them to convert a building 
on Watts St. to a twin cinema. The 
move will provide improved screen- 
ing facilities and permit showings 
of films throughout the week. For 
more info write Film Forum, 57 
Watts St., NY NY 10013. 

FILMMAKER, has received through 
Portable Channel Inc. a $7,000 
NYSCA Film Program Grant for 
1981. It is the first production grant 
awarded to an independent film- 
maker in New York State. The 
money will be used towards the pro- 
duction of a 30-minute film, 
Mohawk Legends: Profiles of the 
Past. For more information: 
Susanne Shea, Portable Channel, 


1255 University Ave., Rochester NY 
14607, (716) 442-3886. 

VICE PROGRAM (CAPS) announced 
its 1980-81 program year Fellow- 
ships to 11 Video artists: Skip 
Blumberg, Peer Bode, Ronald D. 
Clark, Shalom Gorewitz, Julie 
Harrison & Neil Zusman, Deans 
Keppel, Verity Lund & Henry Moore, 
Antonio Muntadas, Rita Myers, 
David H. Rose & Joseph Steinmetz. 
For more info: CAPS, 250 West 57 
St., Room 1424, NY NY 10019, (212) 


CLASS, no prior experience neces- 
sary. Call: Barbara Hammer, (415) 
648-3298, 658-6959. 

FILM IN BRITAIN, Temple Univ. 
School of Communications and 
Theater 5-week seminar, June 29- 
July 31 in London. For more info: 
Professor Ben Levin, Dept. of 
R/TV/F, Temple Univ., Philadelphia 
PA 19122, (215) 787-1496, 627-0851. 

Editing, Tues. and Thurs, 7 pm-9 
pm, April 7, 9, 14, 16. $120. Chicago 
Editing Center, 11 E. Hubbard St., 
5th Fl., Chicago IL 60611, (312) 

offers the following courses: 3 A" 
Videocassette Editing (April 25 & 
26); Elements of Studio Production 
(May 2 — camera, May 9 — lighting, 
May 16 — audio); Basics of Portable 
Video Prod, (eight 3-hr. sessions, 
beginning June 3); Directors Project 
(twelve 3-hr. sessions, beginning 
Mar. 10); Master Class in Editing 
(intensive two-week tutorial in mid- 
April); Advanced TV Studio Prod. 
(ten 4-hr. sessions beginning April 
2). For more information call YF/VA, 

SYNAPSE offers two-day work- 
shops on intermediate and advanc- 
ed computer video editing: April 25 
& 25, May 22 & 23. For more infor- 
mation, contact: Synapse, Syracuse 
University, 103 College Place, 
Syracuse NY 13210, (315) 423-3100. 

SORTIUM (PSSC) will conduct an in- 

tensive, two-day hands-on work- 
shop on How to Teleconference 
Successfully, March 23 & 24 in 
Denver. For information contact: 
Polly Rash, Director of Communica- 
tions, Suite 907, 1660 L St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036. 


looking for films on Super-8 and 
Super-8 filmmakers. Send film in 
stamped, self-addressed container 
to: ETF, Rogers Cable TV, 25 
Adelaide St. E., Sta. 720, Toronto, 
Ontario, CANADA M5C 1Y2. 

to Supertime, the Bay Area's new 
STV station. Submit work to: 
Andrea Franco, Supertime, 1176 
Cherry Ave., San Bruno CA 94066. 

Third Eye Films, distributor of 
award-winning films, seeks 
children's entertainment shorts and 
energy/conservation docs for dis- 
tribution to non-broadcast and TV 
markets. Contact: Jamil Simon, 
(617) 491-4300, or write Third Eye 
Films, 12 Arrow Street, Cambridge 
MA 02138. 

requested for theatrical distribution 
targeted to 16-29 age bracket. To be 
eligible, a screenplay should be 
able to be produced in the Midwest 
for under $1,500,000. Contact: Dan 
White, Producer, Centrill Media 
Corp., 449 North Walnut St., Spring- 
field IL 62702. 

ONE WAY FILMS is looking for 
"New Wave" films to include in its 
distribution package. Contact: 
Richard Gaikowski, (415) 821-9183. 

MAKERS for publication in an an- 
thology concerning the art of film- 
making. For more info, write: M. 
Haslanger, Artichoke Ink, GPO Box 
1834, NY NY 10016. 

ECT and the Exhibition Services of 
AFI are cosponsoring the New 
American Cinema Showcase, a pro- 
gram of five or six films to be 
booked for one week at a major 
commercial theater in 5 cities: 
Washington, DC (June); San Fran- 
cisco (July); Houston (Sept.); New 

Orleans (Oct.) and Atlanta (Nov.). 
Submit films by March 11 to: AFI, 
Kennedy Center, Washington DC 
20566. For more info, contact: IFP, 
80 E. 11 St., NY NY 10003, (212) 

for feature production, also writers 
to write scripts from suggested 
stories. Contact: Bernard Sher, PO 
Box 390247, Miami Beach FL 33139. 

independent film and video makers. 
Specializing in films for the health 
care profession, but short films and 
tapes for all markets welcome. For 
information: Arthur Hoyle, Pelican 
Films, 3010 Santa Monica Blvd., 
Suite 440, Santa Monica CA 90404, 
(213) 828-4303. 


seeks a film professional to fill 
tenure-track faculty position, begin- 
ning Spring or Fall semester. Send 
resume to: Professor Mark Cherni- 
chaw, Chairman, Search Commit- 
tee, Undergraduate Film and Televi- 
sion, South Building, Rm. 65, NYU, 
Washington Sq., NY NY 10003. 

ARTS. NYU seeks a broadcasting 
and allied media professional to fill 
tenure-track faculty position, begin- 
ning Spring or Fall semester. Send 
resume to: Professor Mark Cherni- 
chaw, Chairman, Search Commit- 
tee, Undergraduate Film and Tele- 
vision, South Building, Rm. 65, 
NYU, Washington Sq., NY NY 

teacher to head and develop center 
for experimental technological 
media, including electrostatics, 
magnetic image and sound record- 
ing technology and computers. 
Send resume to: Paul Ashley, Assis- 
tant Dean, School of the Art In- 
stitute of Chicago, Columbus Dr. at 
Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60603. 

in-the-Schools Coordinator, North- 
west Film Study Center, Portland. 
Responsibilities include initiation 
of film/video residencies, making 
presentations relative to the pro- 


gram, fundraising efforts, direction 
of Young People's Film and Video 
Festival. Send resume to: Robert 
Sitton, Director, Northwest Film 
Study Center, 1219 SW Park Ave., 
Portland OR 97205. 

WORK WANTED: Student in- 
terested in film seeks summer posi- 
tion as apprentice with filmmaker. 
Presently attending High School of 
Music and Art. Terms negotiable. 
Call: Emily Kuenstler, (212) 

WORK WANTED: Gaffer with lights 
and cables. Will negotiate rates for 
package. Josh Karan, (212) 

develop projects on either of two 
subjects: (1) Evolution vs. crea- 
tionism controversy in education; 
(2) Voucher system in education; 
tuition tax credits and aid to non- 
public schools. Only want people 
knowledgeable and interested in 
subjects, not seeking crew. Josh 
Karan, (212)642-1112. 

YOUR FILM? Veteran composer of 2 
off-off Broadway productions and 2 
films seeks filmmaker for collabora- 
tion. Call Steve Lockwood, (212) 
666-8817, after 6 pm. 

GREENHOUSE: a videotape produc- 
tion by Melinda Caldwell and 
Pamela George for Northstate 
Public Video. Illustrates building 
techniques and passive solar prin- 
ciples; available to nonprofit groups 
for shipping and handling fee. NPV, 
604 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham NC 
27707, (919) 682-7153. 

FESTIVAL now available for touring. 
The Festival, held in October, ex- 
hibited the works of 52 artists, 11 of 
whom comprise the Travelling 
Show. For info: Stephen Agetstein, 
Director, San Francisco Interna- 
tional Video Festival, 229 Cortland, 
San Francisco CA 94110, (415) 


CIONE & TOM LEESER will screen 
recent work. Guccione will present 
Acts of the Will (1980) and Legions 
(1981). Leeser will screen View 

(1978), Renee Walking/TV Talking 
(1980) and Opposing View (1980). 
Mar. 23 at 8 pm, Pasadena Film- 
forum, The Bank Playhouse, 85 E. 
Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA. 

MICHAEL RUDNICK will present 
and discuss Dr. Hawaii (1976), Mold 
FX (1980), Cleo (1977), Pup Y Pup 
(1977), An Old Coat Flapping (1977), 
Innermission (1980) and Ondeo 
(1980). Mar. 30 at 8 pm, Pasadena 
Filmforum, The Bank Playhouse, 85 
E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA. 

VIDEO ART REVIEW: llluminatin' 
Sweeney (1974) by Skip Sweeney; 
Jglng (1976), and For a Moment You 
Fly: The Big Apple Circus (1979) by 
Skip Biumberg; Instant This: Instant 
That by Lynda & Ellen Kahn (Twin- 
art); Breakfast Table (1980) by Anita 
Thatcher. Tues., Mar. 10 & 17, 8 pm; 
Wed., Mar. 25, 3 pm. Anthology Film 
Archives, 80 Wooster St., NY NY 
10012, (212) 226-0010. 
ED EMSHWILLER: Sunstone. Mon. 
Mar. 30-Fri. Apr. 2, 9 am-5 pm. Real 
Art News (RAW), 40 State Street, 
Hartford CT 06103, (203) 525-5521. 

JON JOST: Stagefright. Fri. Apr. 3, 
8:30 pm. New Wave Video: Mon. 
Apr. 7-Fri. Apr. 10, 9-5 pm. Real Art 
News (RAW), 40 State St., Hartford 
CT 06103, (203) 525-5521. 
FESTIVAL: Mar. 13, 14, 15 — Pro- 
gram 1 (7:30 pm): Surface Work 
(1979) by Dennis Pies; Step Print 
(1976) by George Griffin; Studiel 
(1979) and Guylxiar (1979) by 
Michael Zodorzny; Gila (1979) by 
Philip Perkins; Four Times Four 
Times (1979) by Magdafena Rangel; 
Ichym (1980) by Dome Huebler; 
Ground Green (1980) by John Casey; 
Plans and Elevations (1980) by Al 
Jarnow; 6 Loop Paintings (1971) by 
Barry Spinello; Chalktale (1979) by 
Steve Socki; Precious Metal (1980) 
by David Ehrlich; Wet Paint (1977) 
and Shapes and Gestures (1976) by 
Jules Engel. Program II (9:30 pm): 
Two Space (1980) by Larry Cuba; 
Pasadena Freeway Stills (1974) by 
Gary Beydler; TZ (1980) by Robert 
Breer; Diagram Film (1978) by Paul 
Glabicki; Frame (1977) by Ken 
Kobland; Parataxis (1980) by Skip 
Battaglia; Sumi-E (1975) by Francis 
Lee and Saugus Series (1974) by Pat 
O'Neil. Mar. 20, 21, 22 — 7:30 & 9:30 
pm; Paul Driessen Retrospective. 
Mar. 27, 28, 29 — 7:30 & 9:30 pm: 

Animation from Poland and the 
Soviet Union. Center Screen, Car- 
penter Center for Visual Arts, 24 
Quincy St., Harvard Univ., Cam- 
bridge MA, (617) 494-0200. 

MILLENNIUM will screen films by: 
Pierre Rovere (Red Light, Escapes 
Phase 2, Le Vautour and others) — 
Sat. Mar. 14; a program of work by 
French independents — Sun. Mar. 
15; the Millennium Members Group 
Program — Fri. Mar. 20; Stan 
Brakhage — Fri. & Sat. Mar. 27 & 28. 
All programs begin at 8 pm. For 
more info: Millennium Film Work- 
shop, 66 E. 4 St., NY NY 10003, (212) 

ARTS has published a special film 
& video issue of its periodical, The 
Working Arts. Available for a 
postage and handling charge of $1 
from: BALA, Fort Mason, Building 
B, San Francisco CA 94123, (415) 

BOOK: published by CPB. Outlines, 
for potential applicants, information 
about channel availability, signal 
coverage, types of equipment, 
sources of funding and apaplication 
process. Contact: CPB's Office of 
Telecommunication Policy and Ad- 
ministration, 1111 16 St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 

WOMEN ARTISTS qualify as in- 
dividual entrepreneurs to use the 
free services v of the American 
Women's Economic Development 
Corp; including advertising, promo- 
tion, accounting systems, budget- 
ing, finance, contracts, insurance, 
publicity, marketing, import-export 
and legal services. AWED, 1270 Ave. 
of the Americas, NY NY 10010, (212) 

NEL is a TV channel reserved ex- 
clusively for children. Young people 
between the ages of 9 and 13 form 
the production and programming 
staff of KIDS-4. Minimal adult in- 
fluence is sought; productions are 
done almost entirely by the kids. 
For more info., contact: Nancy 
McMahon, Sun Prairie Children's 
Channel, PO Box 142, Sun Prairie 
Wl 53590, (608) 837-5454. 

join AIVF 
for the 80s 

Access II: Handbook for Satellite Distribution 

The National Endowment for the Arts has recently completed 
an Independent Producers' Handbook of Satellite Com- 
munications called Access II. This handbook is a practical 
guide for independent producers interested in distributing to 
PTV, cable and commercial television and radio systems. It in- 
cludes descriptions of current satellite systems and networks, 
contact person information and background history of in- 
dependents' usage to date. This handbook is a must for any 
independent involved in self-distribution. 

Authors: Joseph D. Bakan and David Chandler. NEA Publica- 
tion Coordinator: Marion Dix. Copies are $3.00. For more infor- 
mation contact John T. Rice at AIVF. 

Please send me 

an NEA publication, by Joseph D. Bakan and David 
Chandler, under the direction of Shared Communica- 
tions Systems Inc., New York. 

I would like 

copies. At $3.00 per copy I have 

enclosed a check or money order for $_ 
My address is 

Make check or money order payable to: 

625 Broadway, New York NY 10012 














(/) CD 

° ^ 

to <_> 

O sz 

~ o 

cd ^ 

CO 5 

~ cd 

sz co 

— o 

cd o 


=3 O 

o *- 



$ ~ 

o c 

=* 3 




o 5 



i g 

co cd 

i£ o 

o w 

$ >> 

*~ CO 

C 3 


O > 


^1 Q. 
CO »- 

o — 


>• o 
0) tr co 
o .52 © 

CO —I T3 

2 E 

c = 

CD f 

.52 § 

a. P 

Z > 

£ c 

cd cd -= 

-Q "° 2 

c CD c~ 

2 a g 

E a> ^ 

co c s 

3 c 
0) £ 




*- .o tt 




5 > 

.E CD 


rr 00 

"- ■£ O) CD 

• -^ c >- 

W UJ 5 o 
3 ^ CD — 
CD -Q 
-~ >> W CD 


*- CD UJ 

5 .1 to 

*- a> d 

c- w — 

o ° * 

"D ±= CO 


■c o 

-Q i? 
- Q. 


^3 CD 

a> cd 

.E ro 

C "O 

I > 

*~. en 

£ CO 

~° £ 

«-■ o 

CD ,_ 

E o 



o o 


0) o 

to o 

H3 CO 

^ 2 
















-< n 
O m 

u m 

£ m 




"0 m 
m n 

m H 
Z rn 

m O 

O m 


z £ 

I- o 



S C/3 


i - Z! 





m _ 

C/3 Z 






_ w 















o c 

"co 91 

L-l | 03 03 

^ *CD 3 

3 SO 

I S«5 



3 ."■ 




» 5" 



w =» 





D ~ 

















(O to rsa co oo — » 

z;. co 5 g en 05 

" f |B1 1 

°- O 

, 3 

□ □ □ □ □ □ 

CZ CL "O « 3 CD 

3 =-'T ^ ffl Q 

5- CD S 3: (O 3: 

§ O g- CD CO O 

O O <' 

3 < =■ 

^ CD = 

I ° 








□ □ □ t 

co o o o 
o cu 5- !, 

§ 3 CD 9 

Q. 3 3 » 

Co Co 

o o 

T3 <Q 

CD cJ 
CD 2S. "§■ 



3 CD = ' 

5L 3 o 

CD CO \ 

c¥ 3 


CD O " 

co 13. 5. 
S If 

° ° s 

Co Co 

O ii 

D D 


E « 

I 3 

— CD 



D D □ D □ □ S 



1 3 

_'. Co co 

3 s- =T 












"~ 4 










— * 




as £ 

A» A 5 


fi> CD 

C CD Q. 

8 2. 


(A CD 



2 c 

W "O 

°- o 

D> a> 
* * 

o 3 

o o> 


«? O 

5 3 

5' ° 


o | 


2 5 

o o 

2" °" 

S • 


x -» 
vt S< 

Z 0>71 


- O d 


•o — 







5 ct 
3 ^ 

1- "° 

^ -< 


z 5 
p ■* 


~^ "Z. 

> H 

o - 

O O 

<5 "< 
co • 

m 3 

I Indepen dents 

Film and Video monthly 


I Independent; 

VOL.4 NO. 2 

THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the Foun- 
dation tor Independent Video and Film, Inc., 625 Broadway, 
9th Floor, NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, A federal agency. Subscription is included in member- 
ship to the organization. 

Editor: Bill Jones 
Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 
Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 

Dee Dee Halleck 

Sol Rubin 

John Rice 

Barbara Turrill 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; 
Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Alan Mitosky, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Louise Zimmerman, Short 
Film Showcase Administrative Assistant; John Rice, Media 
Awareness Project Director; Barbara Turrill. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 


Interviewed by Bill Jones and Leslie Tonkonow 

SELF SERVICE TV by Bart Friedman 

LEO SELTZER by Margaret Higgins 


Leo Seltzer 

BOARD MEETINGS are held monthly at AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor and are 
open to the public. The AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors encourages active member- 
ship participation and welcomes discussion of important issues. In order to be on 
the agenda contact Jack Willis, chairperson, two weeks in advance of meeting at 
(212) 921-7020. 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD MEMBERS: Executive Committee — Eric Breitbart, 
Treasurer; Pablo Figueroa; Dee Dee Halleck; Lawrence Sapadin, Ex 
Officio; Stew Bird; Alan Jacobs, Kathy Kline, Secretary; Jessie Maple; 
Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison, President; Marc Weiss; Matt Clarke, 
Chairperson; Juno Rodriguez; Robert Richter. 


The AIVF/FIVF Board met on March 2, 1981. The full minutes 
are available for inspection at FIVF. The highlights of the 
meeting were as follows: 

Executive Director Larry Sapadin announced that Michael 
Goldberg has been appointed director of the Independent 
Feature Project. The AIVF/FIVF Board expressed an interest 
in continuing its involvement with IFP in its annual Indepen- 
dent Feature Market. Goldberg wil be invited to discuss pos- 
sible AIVF-IFP cooperation on the Market with the Board. 

Media Awareness Project Director John Rice announced that 
CPB oversight hearings have been scheduled by the House 
Subcommittee on Telecommunications for March 25 and 26, 
1981. Oversight hearings will be followed by legislative hear- 
ings at which AIVF will testify. The hearings may be broad- 
cast by WETA in Washington DC. AIVF will begin to meet with 
subcommittee members to present our views on the proposed 
cuts in CPB's budget, and on CPB's performance under the 
Congressional mandate to reserve substantial funding for in- 
dependent productions. 

At a recent CPB Board meeting, attended by AIVF, the CPB 
Board agreed that the Reagan Administration should not be 
allowed to rescind Congress's advance funding of CPB by cut- 
ting CPB's budget now. Concerning the allocation of CPB's 
funds, some CPB Board members considered that CPB fund- 
ing of public TV stations should be reduced from the current 

OLYMPICS — a video tape by Skip Blumberg 

62% to about 40%. The stations, on the other hand, will lobby 
for such funds to be increased to 80%. The AIVF Action Com- 
mittee will compile data on the relative costs of production by 
independent producers, not through the stations. 

New memberships continue to come into the AIVF office as a 
result of the membership drive begun in January. The second 
half of the mailing will go out within about two weeks. 

The Board voted to purchase a seat at the new Film Forum in 
recognition of the important role the Film Forum has played 
in the advancement of independent video and film. The vote 
was coupled with a statement of intent that the Film Forum 
and AIVF work together in the future to further promote in- 
dependent work. 

The AIVF Board resolved to commit certain funds toward 
coordinating lobbying efforts to oppose the Reagan Ad- 
ministration's proposed cuts in the NEA/NEH budgets. A 
special fund will be set up, and contributions sought from 
members and others in the industry and the independent 

Matt Clarke was elected, by unanimous vote, to serve as 
Board Chairman until the June elections. 

The next Board meetings will be held on April 7 and May 5, 
1981 at 7:30 PM. To place any matters on the agenda, contact 
Matt Clarke, c/o AIVF, 625 Broadway, New York NY 10012. 

Leo Seltzer filming for 
the National Film Board 
of Canada in 1941 
(with 35mm Eymo Camera) 

Photo from Collection of Leo Seltzer 

Medio Clips 


Feature animator Ralph Bakshi is laying the groundwork for 
what he envisions as the First International Animation Con- 
ference, which hopefully will take place in New York City 
within the next six months or so. The goal of the venture is to 
bring together as many as 700 animators from throughout the 
globe for a two-day series of nuts-and-bolts seminars and 
screenings, designed to get the wealth of animating talent 
now confined by budget problems to shorts into the feature 
mainstream. Bakshi's game plan is to encourage maximum 
conference attendance by picking up airline and hotel tabs for 
visiting animators. Early contacts with educational institu- 
tions — including Pratt and Cal Arts — were described as 
"highly positive". Cultural institution and film industry sup- 
port will also be sought. Other goals of the seminars will in- 
clude appraising animators of current animated production 
plans and resultant job opportunities. Those would obviously 
include Bakshi's plans to buttress his own core staff of 
animators, most of whom date from his earliest feature, Fritz 
the Cat. For more info, contact: Ralph Bakshi Productions, 
8132 Sunset Blvd., Sun Valley CA 91352, (213) 768-4000. 


CBS, with help from Sony, has demonstrated a high-resolution 
TV signal that uses roughly twice the number of lines per 
screen (1,125 versus 525) to create an image that's far sharper 
than conventional TV and which can be projected onto large 
screens with far better definition. CBS says that Direct Broad- 
cast satellite is the best way to get high-resolution TV to 
customers, once several technical hitches are ironed out. The 
hitches include finding a way for existing TV sets to pick up 
the new signals and methods for fitting bigger signal on 


Harvard Computer Graphics Week 1981, July 26-31, will in- 
clude hardware displays and sessions on mapping and other 
applications of computer graphics, software, color 
technology, digital image processing. Site: Hyatt Regency, 
Cambridge MA. Contact: Kathy Devaney, Center for Manage- 
ment Research, 850 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill MA 02167, 
(617) 738-5020. 



ABC Video Enterprises has ended months of negotiation with 
the Hearst Corporation to unveil BETA — a channel devoted 
to women's programming. The service will provide four hours 
of programming 5 days a week, and is described as "an 
advertising-supported basic cable service geared to today's 
woman". Start-up is predicted by late 1981. 

Two newly launched cable systems have targeted audiences 
in mind. The Jewish Television Network has begun operations 
on Los Angeles' Theat Cable system. New Earth Television 
Works, a multi-media company located in Santa Cruz, Califor- 
nia, produces a video "magazine" highlighting alternative, 
New Age energies, lifestyles and cultures. The Silent Network, 
a cable satellite network catering to the nation's 22 million 
deaf and hearing-impaired people, will be launched by mid- 
1981. Initial plans call for 15 hours of weekly programming in- 
cluding entertainment, variety, educational and information 
shows (to be presented in both voice and sign language). 


The New York-based Independent Feature Project has con- 
cluded a pre-sales deal with West German's ARD National 
Television web calling for financing of new US independent 
productions. Under the arrangement, the ARD agrees to ac- 
cept scripts of budding American filmmakers who have no 
track record, as well as established indie producers, subject 
to approval. Contact: Franz Everschor, ARD, Bertramstrasse 
6000, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. 


A new low-power TV consulting firm with a particular em- 
phasis on public interest oriented applicants has begun opera- 
tion. Personnel include the original authors of the low-power 
rulemaking, who are no longer affiliated with the FCC. Con- 
tact: Parry Teasdale/Michael Couzens, Television Center, 
Suite 801, 1629 K St. NW, Washington DC 20006. 


Prospective noncommercial low-power television and 
translator applicants having difficulty putting applications 
together now have somewhere to turn: National Federation of 
Local Cable Programmers Hotline. This group is providing free 
technical and legal advice and referrals. Hotline number: (202) 
797-3660. 3 

AIVF Forum 

The membership of the AIVF doesn't know each other. 
It is a community of over a thousand with common in- 
terests but not a community of flesh and blood, or 
faces. Its core is an office, a notice board, a newsletter, 
and the mails. Its spirit is invisible, although we know it 
is there by the implied passion of The Independent's 
notices, articles, and its reports on the struggles for 
recognition, legislation, and financial recompense. And 
so the AIVF is good but ghostly. 

We should meet each other: to exchange ideas, to feel 
at ease as a community, to share in the work of the 
AIVF, to hang out, to affect policy, to freshen the quali- 
ty of our services, and to initiate additional services and 
programs, and spark artistic and political disputation. 

Otherwise we will become smug and bureaucratic, 
elitist and stale, and lose sight of ideals. We have not 
called "business" meetings for a while, partly because 
it's a bother, more because hardly anyone would come. 
But there was a time when the leadership regularly 
reported to the live membership (150-200 at a time) the 
results of policy, lobbying, successes (or failures) of 
distribution, status of suits against this network or that 
agency — and it was very exciting. Nothing has changed 
except that we are older, more established. 

And now even our stability is threatened. The Reagon 
budget proposals will do us great harm, individually and 
as an organization. We've got to mobilize to fight for 
the maintenance of funding for independent films and 
for the organizations that serve film and videomakers. If 
we can't get grants many of us will leave the field. If the 
AIVF loses membership AND funding it will go under. 
But if we become used to getting together, if we know 
each other, it will be easier to formulate strategy, to get 
our energies up for the struggle ahead. 

Manny Kirchheimer 
Membership Committee 

On January 29, 1981, the Membership Committee met 
to discuss ways in which to increase membership par- 
ticipation in the Association. What follows is a joint 
report, submitted by three of the participants. 

AIVF is at a juncture where the priorities have to be 
reassessed. We have to be sure that the direction and 
scope of the current activities are going to meet the 
needs of members, and not the dictates of an ad- 
ministrative structure that has become self-perpetuat- 
ing. In the near future, government funds for arts 
organizations will be diminished, so we will have to rely 
on members to carry us through. A membership organi- 
zation has a purpose and priorities that are different 
from an arts organization or a "media center." As any 
organization grows there is a tendency to answer the 
needs of the bureaucracy. The day-to-day demands on 
non-profit groups are always beyond the capacity of 
their underpaid and overworked staffs. When budgets 
are increased the additions go to the needs of the of- 
fice. The needs of the office are not always the needs 
of the members. 

The strength of the independent community depends 
on a unified and firm approach to demands for funding, 
access to public television and increased exposure in 
the theatrical market. Media organizations that exhibit 
and work with the independent community have a dif- 
ferent role to play in promoting independent work. A 
membership organization such as AIVF should realize 
that their strength lies not in panderomg to funders, but 
taking a strong advocate role. This role must be led by 
members. It is not the job of bureaucrats. A growing 
problem within the organization has been the distanc- 
ing of the membership as the complexities of the board 
and office have grown. A new effort must be under- 
taken to strengthen ties within the membership and to 
encourage membership participation at all levels of 
AIVF activity. 

At a recent AIVF board meeting some one objected 
when I said that AIVF was a political organiztion. "No," 
was the response. "We are a trade association, NOT a 
political organization." I think we are both. I think it is 
naive to think that a trade organization of INDEPEN- 
DENT video and filmmakers can exist if it is not at the 
same time a political organization. If we consider 
ourselves "Independent" then we are thinking of being 
independent from something. We strive to remain in- 
dependent of the culture corporations and institutions 
that dominate commercial media production. To remain 
independent from these forms is in itself a political act. 
To join together, to unite as a visable, vocal community 
is to engage in a political action. Yes. We are a political 
organization and our survival depends on understand- 
ing what that means. 

Dee Dee Halleck 
Board Member 

Skip Blumberg 


by Bill Jones and Leslie Tonkonow 

Skip Blumberg has been associated with the Videofreex, Lanesville TV, the early TVTV tapes, the Image Union, 
planetarium/video performances, and many events in the history of independent video. In addition he was staff 
engineer at KQED in San Francisco. Currently he is an artist-in-residence at the WNET/13 TV Lab. Earle Murphy's 
Winter Olympics, which he produced with co-producer Leanne Mella, recently aired nationally on PBS. 

perimented a lot — literally thousands of hours of 
videotape were shot. Although the tapes were rough 
then, I'm still drawing from those experiments in my 
work today. 

We started broadcasting in SoHo in 1971 with a low- 
power transmitter. When we moved upstate to Lanes- 
ville, we operated a media center based on portable 
video production — with portapacks, a 3-camera studio 
and editing room. We used our low-power transmitter 
there for weekly shows broadcast to the town. 
Lanesville TV, as it was called, was a laboratory for live 
TV. In addition to making the residents of a small town 
in the Catskills into sophisticated video viewers, it 
helped us as producers to understand our audience as 
people with faces and names, people we would meet at 
the general store and the post office. 5 

BJ: How did you get started in video? 

SB: Do you really think that's interesting? 

BJ: I think that it leads to something interesting. 

SB: Back in 1969, just when portable video equipment 
was becoming available in stores, I met some people 
who were doing amazing stuff. I hooked up with them 
— they were called the Videofreex. It was terrific. We 
had a loft in SoHo in the late 60's and early 70's. We set 
it up as a video studio and did everything we could 
think of on tape. Production was furious. We never 
stopped to think about why we were doing it or whether 
there was any money in it. That was back in '69. Of 
course, some people have made millions of dollars 
thinking about whether there was money in it in the 
years since then. We just did a lot of work and ex- 


After working with this group for seven or eight years it 
seemed like a good time to branch off to do my own 

BJ: Considering the variety of things you've done, 
would you say that video lends itself to interest in com- 
munity involvement rather than product? 

SB: In the twelve years since I started working in 
video it has really caught on. People are using it for all 
purposes, including community involvement. Now I 
want to make an impact primarily with highly crafted 
TV shows. 

LT: Does that mean ecoming more involved with com- 
mercial television and the new cable outlets? 

SB: I haven't made those contacts. I want to spend 
this year and hopefully next year just producing. Com- 
mercial TV? That's a good question. Jon Alpert (with 
DCTV) is doing that now, and the Raymonds. Those are 
people whose work I really respect. 

I like the idea of non-commercial television, and right 
now public television is the only form of that. It's hard 
to say how long that system will last because Reagan 
may end up withdrawing a lot of funds from it. The first 
cuts seemingly will be from independent production. 
With television as important a force in society as it is, 
and people complaining about how terrible TV shows 
are, it's surprising that there isn't more support for 
fresh ideas through public TV. 

LT: The reason I asked you that question is that one 
type of tape that you've been making for years — por- 
traits of Americana — is showing up on all these new 
magazine-type shows, like Real People or PM Magazine. 
What do you think about the possibility of producing 
for them? I don't know if they buy independent 
work. . . . 

SB: Even before there was a Real People or a PM 
Magazine, there wee people doing the kind of tapes I do 
— all the producers from Lanesville TV and TVTV, a lot 
of independent video people in Chicago. I have never 
been alone in making this kind of truth. Obviously PM 
Magazine is limited by a certain format, and Real 
People is essay to criticize because it's so exploitive — 
making fun of people, cheap thrills, sexual innuendo. 

I've been able to do my own tapes and develop my own 
style. My work contrasts with the corporate style. 

LT: In your new show, Earle Murphy's Winter Olym- 
pics, the viewer not only got to know Earle but saw the 
Olympics through his point of view. 

SB: It's a real life comedy that follows Earle's adven- 
tures at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid. Earle is 
an Olympic super-fan who at times approaches ecstacy 
in his enthusiasm. The show deals with competition 
and nationalism, but it is also about the idea of par- 
ticipating in something rather than only observing it. 
The Olympics was an important enough event to make 
one person's story more important. The fact that 
Earle's advebtyres are often humorous makes it possi- 
ble to have it that much more entertaining. 

BJ: Do you think that you'll always have an interest in 

finding slightly different routes to the information? At 

the Olympics you did a portrait of someone who was 
actually a small part of the event. 

SB: Right, a bystander. 

LT: How did you find Earle Murphy? 

SB: In documentary work, persistence pays off even if 
in surprising ways. I actually met Earle the summer 
before the Olympics. Bart (Friedman) and I were 
shooting the Fourty of July Ski Jump Competition that 
they've held in Lake Placid for the last 33 years. We met 
Earle just as we were packing up to go. I didn't think 
very much about it at the time. 

Later, at the Olympics we met Earle again. He was the 
meteorologist at the ski jump. When we found out that 
he was actually going to junip after the games were 
over (which was no small task because Earle is 53 and 
the Olympic jumpers were all 19 or 20), we decided that 
Earle would be worth following. 

It gave us not only a different kind of person to cover, 
but also a different view of the Olympics — about par- 
ticipation in sports and the thrill and beauty of the 
sport rather than ending up strictly with gold medal 
winners and the "agony of defeat". 

LT: By focusing on Earle Murphy you make the whole 
event more accessible for everybody watching the tape. 
People can probably relate more easily to an Earle 
Murphy than to any one of the Olympic athletes - it's 
like the reaction to Rocky 

SB: And Earle is a real "independent" — a real in- 
dividual, just like the members of this organization. He 
achieves a great victory by still doing the sport. He had 
a great time at the Games. I think that's a victory. 

I like making positive tapes with a forward momentum. 
And I'm very interested in making contact — with my 
subject and the audience. A strong contact between 
myself as camera operator/interviewer and the subject 
is established just because I shoot while I interview. 
This makes for direct eye contact by the subject, with 
the camera and therefore with the audience. It helps to 
warm up the cool medium of TV. 

LT: I really like your ideas about making contact. You 
seem to have a warm relationship with the people 
you're interviewing and an optimistic view of things in 

SB: I choose subjects that I want to hurl out into the 
world, presenting something new to an audience. It 
makes the difficult parts of accomplishing a finished 
TV show worth while. I prefer remaining in the back- 
ground of the people I'm presenting. The major stories 
are that Earle Murphy is 53 and he's jumping at the 
Olympics and having a ball, and that Moses Josiah 
plays a hand saw with a bow like a virtuoso, and Mario 
Droguett is a fantastic juggler. 

I just like having these people out there. That's why 
I hesitate to be interviewed — I want the attention 
focused on them. It's helpful for me to be identified so 
that I can continue to make tapes, and in general it's 
valuable to know who your correspondent is. But frank- 
ly, I think an audience is more interested in them. 

Self Service TV 


By Bart Friedman 

At a recent AIVF program on Low Power TV, Bart Friedman 
gave a personal account of the broadcasting experiments car- 
ried out by media bus (alias Videofreex) during the infancy of 
portapak technology. The following is a transcription of Bart's 

When we went on the air in 1971 we were living as a video 
commune in a loft in Soho. We started in 1969 doing weekly 
shows of stuff that we were making on the streets of New 
York. We'd do tapes, friends of ours would do tapes and every 
Friday night we'd show them in our loft. During that same 
period Global Village was shoeing tapes in their studio. That 
was the real beginning, people picking up a portable TV studio 
and putting it on their backs and making programs. The things 
we were doing had social and political importance — to us, 
anyhow. The notion of art seemed to develop later. Once it 
turned into a truly communicative medium, then there was a 
potential for turning television into art. I'm not sure people 
had ever thought of that before VTRs started being used. 

Then one day we discovered that all the portapaks had 
modulators — that essentially we were turning a video signal 
into a broadcast signal on our TV sets. So the natural question 
arose if we amplified this modulated signal couldn't we send 
this to a TV set without the use of a cable? We soon found 
ourselves broadcasting. We had a lot of romantic guerilla 
notions like maybe we could just put an antenna on the roof of 
our loft on Prince Street and maybe do broadcasting to our 
block. I myself had personally run a small radio station out of 
my apartment on 15th street. The kind of programming I did 
was to the delicatessan down the block, "Gonzalez, a roast 
beef sandwich and hold the mayo." 

Now here's where the story gets kind of glamorous. Abbie 
Hoffman came up to our loft one day and said, "Oh boy. This 
is a great idea. You have the potential here for a very interest- 
ing social medium. Plus, think of all the fun you can have with 
broadcast." So he wrote us a check to buy a fine high quality 
modulator for Channel 3, which was a vacant station in NY 
city. So we started experimenting doing transmissions from 
one side of the loft to the other. But before we actually had an 
opportunity to set it up and do guerilla broadcasting, the elec- 
tric company turned off our power and we decided that we'd 
better head for the hills. We would up in Lanesville, NY, which 
happened to be a perfect place for us to continue the ex- 
periments. Most people living there only get one or two sta- 
tions if they were lucky. It was clear that not only would we 
not interfere with any transmissions, but here was a communi- 
ty that sorely needed some sort of community programming 
and they just might adjust to us. (Even though, believe me 
they were much much different than us. Imagine in 1971 we 
were crazies and the people who were up there were not 
crazies. They had been there for 200 years and they knew ex- 
actly where everybody's place in the community should be.) 
Without video it would have taken us years to become part of 
that community, but there we were out on the streets with 
cameras and decks. We would go to the children first. 
Children are the most up and the easiest to relate to. We 
started off doing a children's show, then we connected with 
the fire department, the rod and gun club and all the organiza- 
tions and seats of political and social power — the Lanesville 
establishment. We put on their spagetti dinners and their 
clambakes on Saturday nights and on Saturday mornings we 
put their children on. 


We were using the same modulator with a cable amplifier (the 
same sort of amplifier that the cable company drives their 
signal very few hundred yards. We custom made a Channel 13 
antenna. Antennas for broadcasting have to be cut to the 
wave length of that particular broadcast signal coming out of 
the modulator. We put it up on the roof and it worked. The en- 
tire thing soct $400. We were already into video: we had our 
turntable, our mike mixer, our recorder. We had black and 
white cameras and a black and white switcher. And we had 
our tapes, and a growing number of tapes from other people 
who were producing. Further more we had an editing center 
which we still operate only now it's in Woodstock, NY. We 
were called Videofreex in 1970 in NYC, but when we got to 
Lanesville and got into the grant busines, Media Bus seemed 
like the perfect name to impress the NEA and NYSCA. The 
broadcast stuff we were doing was not sanctioned by any of 
our funders, but they all understood we were doing it. They 
thought it was a good idea. The community was turned on. We 
had a radius of three miles which was enough to get 300 or 
400 families that were in the neighborhood. We figured that 
after 5 years of doing a weekly show, we could count on about 
50 people watching any particular broadcast. That's a pretty 
good percentage. I don't know how it would be rated by 
Neilson, but there were enough people interested in what we 
were doing to turn it on. 

The most compelling thing about what we were doing was 
that they were in it, or their kids, or some subject that was 
relevant to their lives. They might also see something like Joel 
Gold's tapes. I remember once he brought up some of some of 
the work he did of Twyla Tharp. The Vasulka's once sent us an 
abstract tape for our Channel Three. It had threes turning in o 
themselves and multimensional zooms and feedback. We had 
a phone and people used to call up and someone called and 
said "Get that stuff off the air and get on with the show." 
There were various degrees of what people would appreciate. 
That's the cause with anything you do. 

We broadcast for about five years. No one bothered us. We 
tried for a little publicity. We tried to taunt the FCC. We tried 
to get people to turn us in. We figured what we were doing 
must be good because it wasn't bothering anybody. 

We had a consultant — the guy who had built and cut our 
antenna — who had been busted by the FCC for running a 
very high quality FM Stereo radio station in Yonkers called 
Falling Star Radio. The FCC sent him a warning letter. He ig- 
nored it and they came to his door and confiscated all his 
equipment and gave him a summons. He was put on proba- 
tion, but it took four years to get his equipment back. He 
could have been fined $10,000 for doing it. His crime was that 
he was broadcasting into New Jersey. Sex and broadcasting 
across state lines is just illegal. 

We weren't breaking that law. But what we were doing was not 
legally sanctioned. Our equipment wasn't the type that was 
prescribed by the FCC and we didn't have their kind of 
engineers. The kinds of tapes we were putting on the air 
would never have been broadcast on WNET or other big sta- 
tions. Even though they were putting men on the moon, Black 
and White half inch video tapes were not broadcastable. Even- 
tually they figured out how to do it and channel 13 called us 
and in 1975 and 1976 we did two shows on VTR review about 
Lanesville TV, still not provoking and retribution. 

We stopped broadcasting when the ten of us who were living 
in Lanesville all decided it was time to do something different. 
But we're all still working in video — David Cort, Parry 
Teasdale, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg, Davidson Gigliotti, 
Carol Vontobell. Parry used his experience with Lanesville to 

help Michael Couzens make a presentation to the FCC. Parry 
also did some research on stations in Canada where this sort 
of thing has been going on for a while — community self ser- 
vice TV stations. 

I think it's a good idea. Parry was real excited and said, "Final- 
ly all that research we did (although we were mainly doing it 
for our own fun) will help people start their own TV stations." 
But then a week later we read that Sears was applying for 90 
stations in communities where they had stores. That was sort 
of "oh great... oh shit!" Sears is going to have someone 
going from counter to counter saying we have a sale on 
wrenches, a special on hub caps, or down vests or whatever. 
We realized that the people most interested were those with 
something to sell, not people with our inclinations — not 
community people. You still need $30,000 or $40,000 it seems. 

Right now I'm doing programming for cable. We may apply for 
a low power station. The realities of doing community pro- 
gramming regularly for a station is a whole other thing. Where 
do you get it? How much do you produce? Who gets access to 
the editing? How much live stuff? Does the church get access 
for their sermons and their services? Do you do commercials? 
Do you do fund raising picnics and barbeques? Do you have 
full time people or volunteers? Setting that up takes a lot of 
thinking. I don't want to be in the broadcast business. I want 
to be a programmer. I want to make shows and have someone 
else to do broadcasting and do ratings and maintaining the 
equipment and all of that. 

I feel like we accomplished something in Lanesville. We gave 
people television the likes of which they had never seen. We 
created a dialogue. We took our cameras into their. When we 
first got there they thought we were casing their joint so we 
could steak their TV sets. But after a few years it got so I 
could put on a sheiks costume and Parry would put on his 
father's army colonel outfit and we'd go up to the people in 
town. Parry would introduce me as the Sheik who came to 
Lanesville to buy up all the property because we're making a 
big resort, what do you think of that?" And some of them 
would say "Get out of here you dirty Arab." And somebody 
else would say "Sure and for another hundred dollars I'll 
throw in the Volkswagon." That was one way that we sort of 
developed a community theatre. We'd just put on crazy 
costumes and knock on peoples doors with a camera. And 
after three years people say us coming, they wee not up tight. 
The people in Lanesville are most sophisticated subjects for 
television in the whole world. You can go up to them and ask 
them anything and they'll have their TV personality all ready. 

Transcribed and edited by Dee Dee Halleck 

Media Bus does a regular cable show on Friday nights for 
Woodstock Cable. They also run a % inch Editing center 
which can be rented for $20 an hour. They have recently ap- 
plied for a Low Power license, and as there is not a competing 
application, will probably get sanctioned by the FCC. 

*VTR Reviews. Greetings from Lanesville and Probably 
America's Smallest Station and "The Sheik Who Shook 
Lanesville" and other Catskill dramas are available from 
MediaBus, 120 Tinker St., Woodstock 12498. 

*"Less Than Mom and Pop: Low Power TV", a Communica- 
tions Update Show, % cassette, 27 min, color/an interview 
with Michael Couzens, FCC Low Power Czar is available from 
Center for New Art Activities, 93 Grand Street, NY 10011. Also 
available are the (verbatim) hearings on the Rule Making on 
Low Power at the FCC from Center for New Art Activities. 3 A 
cassette, three hours. 

Leo Seltzer 

by Margaret Higgins 

Film and Photo League Newsreel 

Leo Seltzer has made documentary films all over the 
world. He won an Academy Award in 1948 for "First 
Steps" and among other distinctions was the cinema- 
biographer to the White House for President Kennedy. 
He made his first fims when he was in his teens during 
the 1930's for the Film and Photo League. 

"I was the live-in cinematographer," he says, "and often 
slept on the editing table wrapped in the sheet we used 
as a projection screen." 

The Film and Photo League was a unit of the Workers 
International Relief during the Great Depression; its 
function was to disseminate information among the 
workers and unemployed, and to build moral. Although 
there were hundreds of members of the FPL, Seltzer 
and his cohorts Lester Balog and Robert Deluca were 
the principal cinematographers who went out with their 

hand-held 35mm Eyemo Cameras to record breadlines, 
Hoovervilles, marches, and the daily conflicts that ex- 
isted during the depression. "Sometimes I had to use 
my camera as a weapon to defend myself," he recalls. 

Without realixing it they were producing the first social- 
documentaries. "When we were making these films we 
never had the feeling that there was anything historical- 
ly significant about them," he says, "it was an activity 
of the day. We weren't making films the way people to- 
day say 'I want to make a film, I must make a film.' We 
were turning out documentaries of two types: the 
newsreel compilation, like "America Today," or a film 
on a subject that was important like a hunger march or 
the Bonus March. A very important aspect of the FPL 
was filming, editing and screening. We'd shoot the 
stuff, get it developed and edited as fast as possible; 



take it back to the workers' club and strike head- 
quarters and show it, very often to the same people we 
had photographed. When workers would see them- 
selves or other workers on the pickett lines, they 
couldn't help but think it must be important, because 
only important things were filmed in those days, so it 
gave them a wonderful feeling and they would go back 
out on the pickett lines again." 

"Also it was probably the only news by which they 
could get factual information about what was happen- 
ing in other industries and other cities. The newspapers 
and theatrical newsreels, if they showed anything, they 
satirized what was going on, they never showed it fac- 

Most of the many films produced by the FPL were 
stored in a vault in Ft. Lee New Jersey but were lost in a 
fire. However, in 1977 Seltzer restored six of the 
original productions from fragments located in govern- 
ment archives and private collections. 1 The films depict 
pioneering activities of the American labor movement 
which resulted in national social welfare programs. 

"So today these half-dozen films I've restored are really 
the only surviving, visual, realistic record of that 
period," he says. 

Because of their importance Seltzer has received re- 
quests from schools, libraries, government agencies 
and special interest groups to screen the films and lec- 
ture. 2 He has developed a program which he has taken 
to several places in the United States but more exten- 
sively in Europe. 

"This year I've given over fifteen such lectures and 
screenings in Europe and about one-half that number 
here," he says, "and it's always startling to me that the 
Europeans seem so much more interested not only in 
American documentary and radical films but also in 
America's social history." He thinks [they have this in- 
terest because]". . .they have felt depression and ware 
more than we have." He projects, "Today more than 
ever people in all other countries have the feeling that 
whatever starts is here in America; we are the leaders 
of everything and they are very much concerned with 
our politics and our social atmosphere because they 
feel that eventually that is going to effect them." 

"Their interest in our films is traditional," he says, 
"Europeans are always more sensitive to film as an art 
form rather than an industry, which it is here. They 
don't just talk about it they practice it by having 
neighborhood Cinemateks." The Cinemateks in Ger- 
many are community film theatres which schedule 
monthly programs focused on a topic, director, or 

He has lectured in France, Germany, Belgium and Italy; 
in 1980 he participated in the Milan film festival dealing 
with American labor, and the Film International Film 
Festival in Rotterdam. He spoke in Hamburg and Berlin 
at the invitation of the Amerika-Haus as part of an art 

In Hamburg he was impressed by the city government's 
act of allocating IV2 million dollars as a fund for in- 

dependent filmmakers. The money is under the control 
of a committee of filmmakers, critics and teachers. He 
feels that this arrangement, which is also being set up 
in Berlin, reflects their respect for film as something 
that belongs to the people rather than entertainment for 

When asked what American filmmakers can learn from 
his experience abroad he responded, "Europeans are 
much more socially aware than we are... their films 
deal with human relationships, with reality based on 
people, not on plastic fantasy. It's a matter of cultural 
heritage, one of our goals is independence, it has 
helped us to survive. . .But the European family has 
survived much longer than ours, they've been more 
community minded than we have. 

And what does he hope for from today's independent 

"When I was restoring these films I had the feeling that 
I was looking at contemporary film... We are dis- 
oriented and it is the attitude of the government not to 
really do anything about it." 

"There's a tremendous amount of exploitation in the 
world, and as competition increases so does the ex- 
ploitation. The media follows the atmosphere which we 
live in; we live surrounded by hostility so they make 
films dealing with hostility. The media has a tremen- 
dous responsibility in terms of what it could do 
positively to negate this hostile atmosphere." 

"Independent filmmakers are part of the problem, not 
part of the solution. . .they are looking for recognition 
and an opportunity to express themselves. They are not 
by nature sociall oriented. I say a socially oriented per- 
son could use the medium of film to help people see 
their world around them with a little more sense of 
reality and perspective. . .Film is a very powerful 
weapon and filmmakers should be aware of that... 
[But] very often people expect too much from a film, 
especially a documentary. A film can never do an entire 
job, but it's probably the best leverage for opening the 
door a crack and giving people a chance to see what's 

Leo Seltzer lives up to his own high standards, he is a 
fine craftsman, socially aware; he is also highly 
motivated: "For at least forty years of filmmaking I 
always felt that if I couldn't make films there was no 
point in me being a member of the human race." 


'The six restored films are: "Workers Newsreel — Unemploy- 
ment" (1931), "Hunger March to Washington" (1931), "Hunger 
March" (1932), "Bonus March to Washington" (1932), 
"Workers Newsreel — Detroit Massacre" (1932), "America 
Today Newsreel" (1932-34.) Total length 90 min. — 16mm. 

2 Leo Seltzer can be reached for information at 368 East 69th 
Street, New York, NY 10021. 

Media Arts Centers Mobilize Against 
Reagan Budget Cuts 

The administration's proposed budget cuts for NEA 
(50%), NEH (50%), and CPB (25%) represent a severe 
threat to the quality of cultural life in this country, not 
only because these figures represent such substantial 
funding cutbacks, but also because of how and where 
these cuts will be made. The philosophy for the cuts is 
based in part on a report published by the Heritage 
Foundation, a conservative think tank, entitled Man- 
date for Leadership (copies of which can be obtained 
by calling the Foundation in Washington). A coalition 
of media and other arts organizations is currently 
formulating a united strategy in response to these cuts. 
We are interested in receiving the views of all in- 
terested parties. 

The statement below was recently drafted by OVRMAC 
at its meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Ohio Valley 
Regional Media Arts Coalition is an organization of 
media centers and independent media artists operating 
in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West 
Virginia. While AIVF does not necessarily subscribe to 
the complete statement, it does represent the issues 
around which we are currently organizing. 


OMB proposals to cut funding to the National Endow- 
ments for the Arts and Humanities are based on mis- 
understandings of the structure, the process, and the 
purpose of the Endowments. Such areas of misunder- 
standing specifically include national economic 
priorities, public taxation, federal budgetary 
significance, cost effectiveness, private support, 
business revitalization, and supposed politicization. 

Contrary to what the OMB suggests, the Harris polls 
have repeatedly shown that more than 80% of 
Americans believe arts to be a high priority, and more 
than 65% polled would pay increased taxes for the 
arts. It is precisely in times of economic crisis that the 
arts increase in importance. 

At the same time, no significant saving can be gained 
by cutting federal arts support. Even at their present 
level of funding, the Endowments represent .03% of the 
federal budget. Most other industrialized nations spend 
far more than we do to support the arts. The $46 million 
the OMB proposes cutting from the NEA is, for exam- 
ple, less than the Defense Department will spend this 

year on military bands. In spite of this, the Endow- 
ments provide an enormous return for this small invest- 
ment. The NEA and NEH have always been and con- 
tinue to be among the most cost-effective and publical- 
ly accountable of all government agencies. 

Again contrary to the OMB's suggestion, NEA funding 
has not reduced the historic role of private individual 
and corporate philanthropic support, but has played a 
catalytic role that has increased private arts support 
more than 19-fold during the NEA's existence from 1967 
to the present. Demonstrably, without Endowment sup- 
port to act as seed money, private support would 
decline, not increase, in both the arts and the 

The arts are not peripheral but central to economic 
revitalization. Edwin D. Dodd, Chairman and Chief Ex- 
ecutive Officer of Owens-Illinois, Inc., summed up the 
importance of the arts when he stated: 

"Owens-Illinois recognizes the importance of the arts 
as part of the vitality of every city. Business enterprises 
such as hotels, restaurants, and retail stores benefit 
from visitors drawn to cities by cultural offerings. 
Similarly, the availability and variety of cultural ac- 
tivities are major factors in attracting new business 
and employees to an area, as well as in retaining ex- 
isting business endeavors. . . . Support of the arts is 
good business." 

Contrary to the Heritage Foundation's suggestion, cuts 
in funding would not eliminate supposedly politicized 
grants at the endowments; such cuts could endanger 
the panel process of review by peers, precisely the pro- 
cess which insulates grant funding from politicization. 
In fact, OMB policy could politicize Endowment fund- 
ing for the first time, achieving precisely the opposite 
of the stated goal. 

In addition, such support must not be limited to the 
traditional arts in major urban areas, but must 
recognize and respond to the growth of the new media 
arts of film, video, audio, and photography, a 
phenomenon of major historic significance. 

In sum, contrary to OMB suggestion, Endowment fund- 
ing in the present economic crisis should be increased, 
not cut, to meet the needs and demands of both 
business and the public at large. The full range of arts 
and humanities services are most needed precisely at a 
time of fiscal retrenchment. 11 

Self Distribution 

a book review by Sol Rubin 

In this era of instant products and ready-made kits 
comes DOING IT YOURSELF: A Handbook On Indepen- 
dent Film Distribution written by Julia Reichert and 
edited by Amalie Rothschild. The handbook spares us 
the usual lengthy intros and gets straight to the point 
of how to set up a little film distribution business in the 
non-theatrical side of the field. Instead of generaliza- 
tions or popular cliches, it gives us the most useful 
details about everything you always wanted and needed 
to know. 

This booklet is the first (and so far only) of a projected 
series of AIVF primer publications, and is an outgrowth 
of the successful self-distribution efforts of the people 
who founded New Day Films. 

Eight chapters are stuffed with information: reproduc- 
tions of sample business letters and forms, contracts, 
releases for all occasions, brochures, conference lists 
and addresses, film festivals, bookkeeping methods, 
etc. Ms. Reichert takes you by the hand and guides you 
through the labyrinth of distribution commerce. She ex- 
plains rentals versus sales, promotion, financing, risk- 
taking, audience considerations, how to set up an of- 
fice, things to take into account when designing a 
brochure, types of advertising pieces, mailings, trade 
shows and conferences, European possibilities, suc- 
cessful openings, and the ultimate decision: should 
you self-distribute? Also explored and realistically 
discussed is the ultimate question "How much money 
can you make?" Since 75% of all new businesses fail 
(according to the Small Business Administration) there 
are obviously varied answers. DOING IT YOURSELF 
gives the necessary guidance and encouragement and 
offers valuable advice on how to obtain mailing lists, 
getting reviewed, advertising, speaking engagements, 
local film showcases, as well as the nuts and bolts of 
how to handle film shipment, repairs and replacement 
footage, etc., etc. 

Written in a lively and readable style with touches of 
humor (a sample film is titled LUNACY), the handbook 
challenges you throughout its 76 pages to acquire the 
proper business acumen to complement your artistic 
accomplishments. The manual is not meant to be 
glanced at casually, but should be kept constantly at 
hand as a permanent fixture and reminder along with all 
your other filmmaking paraphernalia. 

DOING IT YOURSELF: A Handbook On Independent 
Film Distribution is available from AIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York NY 10012 for $3.75 (AIVF members) or $5.50 
(non-members), prepaid only. Enclose an additional 75c 
per copy for First Class Mail delivery. Bulk orders of 10 
or more copies are discounted to $3.50 per copy, plus 


Editor's note: 

DOING IT YOURSELF deals primarily with non- 
theatrical 16mm distribution. Other avenues also exist, 
the most promising new market being pay and cable 
TV. Filmmakers interested in exploring the possibilities 
of pay and cable TV distribution of their work should 
contact ICAP (Independent Cinema Artists and Pro- 
ducers) at 625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York NY 10012. 
ICAP returns to the artist 75% of distribution fees 
earned by films or videotapes under contracts. 

New Day Films was founded in 1972 by four film- 
makers: Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, Liane Brandon and 
Amalie Rothschild. The group has grown to include 20 
filmmakers with 25 films. All members work co- 
operatively to distribute their films and jointly publish a 
catalogue, place advertisements, attend conferences, 
etc. They are independent filmmakers working together 
with a common vision. They believe in the importance 
of cooperative action in bringing about social change 
and share a personal committment, responsibility, and 
desire to create a society responsive to human needs. 




Published By The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers. Inc. 

A UN. Observer 


The Public Broadcasting Service arranged for all of us to stay 
at the Adam's Mark, a brand new hotel on the outskirts of 
Houston. The Adam's Mark is one of those hotels with a ten 
story fully landscaped lobby outfitted with smoked glass, 
light up elevators shaped like yams. 

The occasion was PBS's eighth yearly marketplace for pro- 
gramming offered through the Station Program Cooperative 
(SPC). The Program Fair is a grueling process whereby all the 
program managers from all the public television stations 
across the U.S. come together for several days to sit through 
endless presentations by the individuals or groups hoping to 
have their programs funded on a cooperative basis by the sta- 
tions and distributed throughout the country via PBS's 
satellite interconnection system. 

The total budget for a station is established and PBS deter- 
mines each stations financial contribution on the basis of the 
stations percentage of "system buying power". A stations 
system buying power correlates directly to that stations year- 
ly budget. 

John Lorenz, the very capable coordinator of the Station Pro- 
gram Cooperative, chaired an orientation meeting for inde- 
pendents early on in the Fair. During the meeting John 
estimated the entire available acquisitions funds for the 
whole system at thirty-million dollars. That's less than some 
Hollywood features cost these days! In the scheme of things, 
it's a pittance. 

The Program Fair churned on for five days. Every night there 
was another cocktail reception. One given by Shell Oil to in- 
troduce the new program from the Kennedy Center; One given 
by WETA (Washington, D.C.) to introduce their new series, 
THE LAWMAKERS, and numerous others all with those great 
miniature hot dogs and crab claws and gulf shrimp and 
quiche and bountiful, free-flowing liquor. As with other con- 
ventions those receptions were where most of the business 
took place. 

I felt like a UN observer. I was there with somewhat different 
concerns than everyone else. I was there to experience first- 
hand what transpired at one of these things, and how in- 
dependent producers faired when trying to get their produc- 
tions funded through the SPC. My other reason for being 
there was to meet with as many program managers as pos- 
sible and get a sense of their interest in independent work 
and in particular our series, THE INDEPENDENTS. I spoke 
with many of them and found them quite interested in in- 
dependent work in general and desirous of programming it on 
their respective stations. 

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provided a suite in 
which independents could meet, screen their work for 
prospective clients and use as a hospitality room. The suite 
was the location for casual "strategy" meetings amongst the 
indies where they would discuss their progress, or lack 
thereof, in getting their work into the SPC. 

One of the bones of contention was a memo that PBS re- 
leased to all program managers just previous to the Program 
Fair giving recommendations for those programs they con- 
sidered most worthy. The independents felt this was grossly 
unfair and several said they had no prior knowledge of this 
memo. Lance Ozier, Director of Program Business Affairs for 
PBS expressed regret that any of the indies felt slighted. I 
have to side with PBS on this one. The memo was intended by 
PBS to be an advisory to stations in regard to those programs 

that deserved a certain amount of financial scrutiny, i.e.: PBS 
has suggested to the producers that they trim their budget, or 
were particularly important in PBS's eyes and yet had a poor 
chance for making it into th SPC such as WNET's NON FIC- 
TION TELEVISION, one of the most worthy offerings at the 
Fair in my biased opinion, (as I write this I've just been handed 
the results of the first round of voting. NON FICTION TELE- 
VISION has done quite well: they've received 45% of system 
buying power — the same as Bill Buckley's FIRING LINE. Not 
bad at all.) 

So, while well intended the memo was a poor move and im- 
plied that PBS backed some program offers more than others 
while its official stance, as I understand it, should be one of 
neutrality. Some of the independents at the Fair may not have 
been appraised of the memo. That was, perhaps, thoughtless, 
but I think it would be naive to interpret it as conspiracy. 

The feeling that things weren't quite fair was shared by some 
of the smaller stations. I got the distinct feeling that the little 
stations felt they were being force-fed the big productions by 
the big stations. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that 
LEHRER, PLAYHOUSE) would be picked up and small sta- 
tions seemed to feel they had no choice but to go along. 

The best example was the SENSE OF HUMOR vs. PLAY- 
HOUSE debate. PLAYHOUSe is a megalithic, multi-million 
dollar dramatic series being offered by a consortium of KCET, 
Los Angeles, WGBH, Boston, WNET New York and South 
Carolina ETV, (a state network). SENSE OF HUMOR was pro- 
posed as a six part dramatic/humor series and offered by 
Rubicon Productions out of Chicago, Neal and Nancy Miller, 
who are Rubicon, were at the Fair understandably bewildered 
but confident about the quality of their series. The Millers had 
secured the directing talent of Joanne Woodward and the 
acting abilities of Estelle Parsons for the first of the six 
SENSE OF HUMOR programs. 

A groundswell of concern and support developed at the Fair 
as it appeared that PLAYHOUSE might act out SENSE OF 
HUMOR. A give-the-little-guy-a-chance attitude began to 
prevail, and rightfully. In this case the little guy, Rubicon, had 
a very good idea for a series, had strong talent lined up and 
seemed entirely competent enough to pull the whole thing off. 

It then got around that PLAYHOUSE had offered to include 
SENSE OF HUMOR as part of the PLAYHOUSE series. All six 
parts? Well, no one seemed sure. The Miller's displayed mixed 
feelings about this suggestion, clearly they wishes to retain 
their independence. Being part of PLAYHOUSE was better 
than not being at all though and this is what Rubicon Produc- 
tions opted for. In the first round of voting PLAYHOUSE 
received 68% of system buying power - virtually a certainty 
for the 1981-82 PBS "Core" schedule. I've not spoken to the 
Miller's about the inclusion of SENSE OF HUMOR in PLAY- 
HOUSE for all I know it's perfectly fine with them, as for me I 
would have liked to see SENSE OF HUMOR on its own — a 
six part series by an independent producer out of Chicago. Oh 

The problem for all concerned, independent or not, is money. 
Thirty million in acquisition funds is precious little and so, 
many very worthy programs will not make it. There was a 
great deal of talk about "shares" and "cumes" — I expected 
Peter Finch of NETWORK to come running down the aisle 
tearing his hair out any moment. Obviously PBS would like to 


/\ U.N. UBZtKVtK Ml I tit rK\J\aK/\IVI MIK 

be a network, would like to be the fourth network, and while it 
isn't quite, many are talking as if it were. 

Larry Grossman, President of PBS, gave a whistling-past-the- 
graveyard speech in which he contended that the loss of BBC 
programming to Rockefeller's RCTV would have no substan- 
tial effect on PBS. Indeed, it could be the best thing that ever 
happened to PBS — if that organization would look to the 
richness and diversity of. the communities it serves, and it 
serves far more communities than New York and Los Angeles. 

Richard Reeves, in a United Press Syndicate article published 
January 8, 1981 in the San Francisco Chronicle and entitled 
"Farewell to Public Television?" goes right to the heart of the 

Wo, what's left for public television? Localism. The United 
States is awash with national news, national politics, national 
sports, national figures. The big vacuum is in local program- 
ming. If public television wants to perform a public service — 
and survive — it should be moving into statehouses and 
county court houses, into small college and high school 
stadiums and lecture halls, into regional theaters and film 
studios. A good public television station should be as good 
as, or better than, a good local or regional newspaper. 

That future may not be as glamorous as Masterpiece Theater, 
but it's a future — and I'm not sure public television has any if 
it doesn't look to its roots, the people who live near its expen- 
sive studios." 

There is a richness and strength of character, a singularity of 
vision, an individual insight in the best work of independent 
producers that is simply not present in the big high culture 
productions with which PBS has aligned itself. 

I'm afraid PBS may be disregarding its most important 
resource. MOST IMPORTANT! And in the long run, it may hurt 
them. I like watching the National Geographic Specials as 
much as the next person and I enjoy some of the other high 
visibility PBS programming as well, but enough's enough with 
the high culture stuff. There's more to this country — I know 
there is 'cause I've driven across it. I see very little of the 
diverse culture of this country represented on PBS. The work 
is available, I can only assume it's not considered to be of 
"national interest" by PBS programming. 

One upper level staff person of the CPB Program Fund has 
stated that the difference between independent work that Pro- 
gram Fund will make possible and the programs that the IFV- 
DC offers is that the IFVDC's series, THE INDEPENDENTS, is 
of more "regional" interest. Even though it's not true of this 
particular series (the staffer was obviously not familiar with 
the programs in THE INDEPENDENTS), I think that perhaps 
the IFVDC should design its series to be more "regional" 
because that is where the richness and beauty of this country 
is most apparent. I for one am curious — I haven't seen as 
much of the country as I'd like, people do see differently ac- 
cording to how and where they've been raised. Many of us are 
familiar with the New York of L.A. experience due to the glut 
of media emanating from those two centers, but aren't the 
atitudes of New Mexico or Maine just as valid, and maybe the 
perspectives are even more valid. 

Now is the time to fill the deepening crevasse. Independents 
can penetrate the public television market to an extent not 
previously possible. And rightfull they should: the quality of 
independent work is excellent. I can say this with a certain 
amount of confidence because I see alot of it. Public tele- 
vision is in dire need of high quality programming, program- 
ming that's compelling and that is 'coming from somewhere'. 
Not an endless high culture pageant. 

PBS is in trouble, and they know it. They're looking to branch 
out into pay cable to save themselves, Mr. Grossman calls 
this plan "the Grand Alliance". It may be a case of too little 
too late. Given the current administration in Washington 
things could get grim. Reagan's transition team has recom- 
mended cutting off public television funding by 1983 - get 
the commercials ready here comes the fourth network. Well, 
by that time Fred Silverman may be looking for a job. 

As I said to one high ranking PBS official at the Shell Oil/ 
Kennedy Center reception: "If PBS isn't careful, they're going 
to end up doing for culture what the Colonel did for chicken, 
what the Holiday Inn did for motels." 

He said I was "stupid" and "arrogant". Maybe he was right. 
Maybe I was. Please pass the quiche. 

From the IFVDC newsletter 



NEW MEDIUM, a telecommunications corporation 
headed by public television veterans Joan Shigekawa 
and Angela Solomon, launched its activities, Houston 
at "SPC 8", the PBS Program Fair held in January. NEW 
MEDIUM invited diverse independent media groups to 
join PTV programmers and independent producers in an 
effort to focus on joint interests in public TV as a major 
future market for independent work. 

Participating along with public television stations were: 
the Southwest Alternate Media Project, Bay Area Video 
Coalition, The Public Interest Video Network of Wash- 
ington, D.C., The Independent Film and Video Distribu- 
tion Center of Boulder, Colorado, American Film In- 
stitute's Exhibition Services Program, The Independent 
Feature Project in New York City — along with indepen- 


dent producers participating in Program Fair: These in- 
cluded Robert Hoover, Thomas Horton, Kit Laybourne, 
Mickey Lemle, Robert Campbell, John Galbraith, Neal 
Miller, Humberto Rivera, Heather Howell, and Michael 
Ambrosino. Status of independent programming in SPC 
to be announced soon. 

Also in Houston, NEW MEDIUM conducted the first of a 
national workshop series for independents entitled 
"New Market Updates". Designed in collaboration with 
Media Art Centers throughout the U.S., the workshops 
focus on emerging prospects for independent film and 
video producers in pay television, satellite networks 
and home video. 

Future sites for NEW MARKET UPDATE workshops in- 
clude Minneapolis (March 30), Chicago (April 1), 
Philadelphia (April 12) and San Francisco (April 24 and 
25). Major firms participating in the series include 
Home Box Office, Cable News Network, Warner Amex 
Cable Communications, Satellite Syndicated Systems, 
National Video Clearinghouse, 3M, and Independent 
Cinema Artists and Producers. 

For specific information contact Program Manager for 
NEW MEDIUM, Neal Brodsky, at 212/595-4944. 

Budget Cuts and PTV 


As one of the fifteen directors of the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting — and the only political Independent now on 
the Board — I'm a loyal supporter of our nationwide, 
commercial-free system of public radio and television, and 
should probably be preparing strong arguments against pro- 
posals by the Reagan Administration to cut the federal ap- 
propriation for public broadcasting. In point of fact, however, I 
find it perfectly reasonable for public broadcasting to accept 
cuts in its future federal support, particularly when cuts are 
planned in nearly every other federal program. 

But cutbacks are one thing, complete devastation is 
something else again. It would be unthinkable for Congress 
even to toy with the idea of dismantling this marvellous array 
of stations, their national distribution systems, and the 
private, non-profit Corporation for Public Broadcasting that 
makes overall public telecommunications plans and policy, 
awards grants, and acts as a buffer between the federal 
funders and the radio and television program producers. 

Despite its value to the American people, however, public 
broadcasting, and particularly public television, is somewhat 
flabby. Rather than wreaking havoc, a 20%, even 25% cut in 
federal support could well cause a creative surge in the public 
broadcasting industry, paring away both fat and dead wood. 
So let the budget cuts come, as long as they come with 
enough advanced planning that the broadcasters will know 
what to expect and when to expect it. Such planned cuts 
should bring real vigor back to the industry as it is forced to 
re-examine its avenues of support and to start fighting for new 
sources of funds. Lean public broadcasters will be wily, in- 
novative, and resourceful — not bad results from cost cutting 

In my opinion, the prime focus of the cuts should be on those 
funds that now pass directly through to the local stations as 
unrestricted grants. Public broadcasters constantly remind us 
that localism is the bedrock of the system, yet they strongly 
support the present provision in the Financing Act which man- 
dates that 50% of the total yearly federal appropriation to the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting be passed through to the 
stations. Even before the 1978 Act, a full 50% customarily 
went to the television stations each year; radio stations got 
some more on top of that. This year, over 60% of the Corpora- 
tion's appropriation will pass directly to the television and 
radio stations with no strings attached. 

Giving local independent stations this kind of direct support 
isn't localism, it's federal welfarism of the worst kind, a $97 
million dollar intrusion of federal funds this year alone went 
into the operating budgets of these small, non-profit 
businesses. This unrestricted "community service grant" pro- 
gram encourages the stations to depend on Uncle Sam, builds 
in a sense of federal entitlement, and cannot help but tempt 
the broadcasters to keep one eye on Washington all the while 
they are serving their local communities. When Congress cuts 
the share of federal support to public broadcasting, it should 
also change that particular mandate in the present law so that 
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will have more discre- 
tionary power to distribute these remaining scarce funds 
equitably among competing national and local demands, and 
can provide clear accountability for the monies. The stations 
will then have to run their daily operations on the support they 
can and should be able to generate from their local com- 
munities of service rather than on a combination of local sup- 
port and federally-generated handouts. 

But along with federal cuts, public broadcasting must have 
much more freedom to seek new non-federal support for its 
activities. Though they should remain commercial free, the 
stations should be allowed to run a fifteen or twenty second 
institutional message with the underwriting credits at the 
beginning and end of their programs. Though the stations 
shouldn't use the unfair advantage of their federal support to 
directly compete with and underbid private businesses in the 
same community, they should be allowed to compete on an 
equal footing with the private sector, and even to operate 
profit-making subsidiaries, plowing the profits back into the 
support of the broadcasting operations. The two major tests 
should be that the stations don't unfairly compete using their 
federal subsidies, and that they don't allow monetary greed to 
push the public good off the public airwaves. If they can pass 
these two tests, the stations should be allowed to seek any 
number of new sources of non-federal financial support. 

As additional money comes to public broadcasting on the 
national level from non-federal sources, the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting will have to act as a heat shield with 
these corporate and private donors in exactly the same way it 
acts now with the Congress. There is, after all, just as much 
temptation and opportunity for creative meddling and editorial 
pressure from private sector funders as from federal funders. 

The Corporation should also actively help the stations find 
new sources of national funding; it should continue to use the 
annual federal appropriation as a catalyst to develop addi- 
tional private support for public broadcasting; it should plan 
for the integration of over-the-air broadcasting and other non- 
broadcast technologies so that Americans get the best of all 
possible services, and most importantly, it should continue to 
handle the planning and funding of high quality national radio 
and television programming that features American talent and 
provides balance in its treatment of and opportunities for in- 
dependent producers, minorities, women, the handicapped, 
and all those who are traditionally outside the system and 
deserve to get in and get on. To allow the stations and their 
national membership organizations to take on all of these 
functions would be to create a fourth network — handing over 
to one national organization like PBS or even NPR the right to 
select, fund, schedule, and promote programming — and 
dismantling in one swipe the unique balance that now exists 
between individual local stations, their national distribution 
systems, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It is 
this complex system of checks and balances that makes 
public radio and television so wholly different from its com 
mercial counterparts, and it must be preserved. 

The ball is now in the public broadcaster's court. After thir- 
teen years of increasing federal support, the system is now 
fairly strong and should be ready to face the future with hope, 
despite the coming cutbacks. The public stations will survive 
the federal cutbacks if each one of them offers its community 
imaginative and creative entertainment and instructional pro- 
grams that the people really need, want, and are willing, even 
anxious to support. Public broadcasting will at last have to 
define for itself and for America what it is and where it wants 
to be, and that definition must put the public at large, not the 
broadcasters, at the true center of "public broadcasting." 
That will be both the challenge and the opportunity of the 

These are Mr Kelly's views, not necessarily those of CPB or of 
its Board. 1 5 


Author's Afterword 

The Administration's budget cuts were formally released a 
few days after this article originally appered in the 
Washington Star. The Office of Management and Budget 
takes a different approach about where the cuts should be 
made, suggesting that reductions be "primarily directed at 
CPB's administrative costs and national program production 
while CPB support for local station will be maintained at as 
high a level as possible." 

At its meeting of February 19, 1981, the CPB Board 
unanimously adopted its own response to the proposed 
budget cuts", asserting "the necessity for continuing the two 
largest budgetary commitments which we [CPB] now have. 
One is for unrestricted grants to radio and television stations. 
The others if ro CPB's funding of high quality programming to 
be made available to public telecommunications entities. The 

Public Telecommunications Financing Act of 1978 anticipates 
that direct station grants will be of sufficient size to help sta- 
tions serve their communities, and that production funds will 
constitute 'a significant portion of funds available [to CPB]. 1 
Therefore, program funds must be sufficient to constitute a 
critical mass." 

I voted for the CPB affirmations because I believe that with 
budget cuts, nationally funded public radio programming (in- 
cluding NPR's various news and public affairs productions), 
and occasional "big ticket" television programs will be need- 
ed to provide local stations with a vital service that they can- 
not efficiently provide for themselves. These national pro- 
grams will support localism by allowing the local stations to 
build audiences and generate additional support from their 
communities to offset the cuts in federal funding. 

AIVF FIVF in April 

The Foundation for Independent Video and Film/Association 
for Independent Video and Film is pleased to present the 
following events for its members and the general public: 

April 16, 1981 - 

Insuring An Independent Production 

• You accidently erased the last two minutes of your 
video tape: who pays, if you miss your air date? 

• A passer-by trips and falls on your sound cable: are 
you covered? 

Dennis Reiff, a specialist in insuring independents, will be 
at AIVF to discuss the basics of insuring your independent 
production, and to answer all of your insurance questions. 
AIVF, 8:00 pm. 

Members: $1.50 

Others: $2.50 

April 22, 1981 - 

Meet the Mayor's Office 

• When do you need a permit to shoot on the City's 

• What's happening at the Astoria studios? 

Nancy Littlefield, Director of the Mayor's Office of Motion 
Pictures & Television will bring independents up to date on 
what the Mayor's office has been doing, and what it can do 
for independents. 

Rochelle Slovin, the new executive director of the Astoria 
Motion Picture and Television Center, formerly director of 
the CETA Arts Project, will be on hand to discuss what 
opportunities Astoria might offer to independents. AIVF, 
8:00 pm. 

Members: $1.50 Others: $2.50 

For more information, call AIVF, (212) 473-3400. Call in ad- 
vance to confirm dates. 


TION, CALL: (212) 620-0877. 



EN THE 80S. 



Guide to Electronic News Gathering Electronic Field Production & Electronic Post-Production for the 1980s 

With constant changes in technology and the pro- 
liferation of products, there are no quick and easy 
purchasing decisions in the ENG/EFP/EPP market. 
And with each buying decision impacting on plans 
for the future, you need all the help and advice you 
can get. Now. 

So whether you're looking to expand your present 
system or to upgrade it, or are making a commit- . 
ment to field production for the first time, now's the 
time to order your copy of BM/E's ENG/EFP/EPP 
HANDBOOK: Guide to Electronic News Gathering, 
Electronic Field Production & Electronic Post Pro- 
duction for the 1980's. 


This guidebook is designed to be the authoritative 
text on the entire subject of electronic journalism, 
field production and post-production in the 80's. And 
it is skillfully written for both technical and non- 
technical readers — broadcast and non-broadcast users. 


Written by C. Robert Paulson, principal author of 
BM/E's best selling 1976 ENG/Field Production 
Handbook, this brand new guidebook features an 
introduction by Joseph A. Flaherty, Vice-President 
Engineering and Development, CBS Television Net- 
work. And it has been edited by the distinguished 
team of James A. Lippke, BM/E's Editorial Director, 
and Douglas I. Sheer, BM/E's Director of Special 

Contents Include: 

Part I/Overview: Chapter I, An Aerial View ol the 1980 s; 

Chapter 2. Communication Becomes Electric, Chapter 3. 

Overview of Hardware Development Trends & Needs. 

Part ll/Electronic Field Production: Chapter 4. Cameras. 

Pickup Tubes, Lenses & Lighting, Chapter 5, Video Recorders, 

Chapter 6, Field System Accessories 

Part Ill/Electronic Post Production: Chapter 7, Editing 

Systems & Controllers. Chapter 8, Video Switchers: Chapter 9, 

Digital Video— TBC's. Chapter 10, Television Audio. Chapter 

11, Post-Production System Accessories 

Part IV/Wrap-Up: Chapter 12. Putting It All Together 

Appendices: (A) TV Standards. (B) Bibliography & Reference 

Together they have compiled: 

• Over 300 pages of detailed information 

• Twelve fact-filled Chapters 

• More than 300 illustrations, charts and 

TORY PRICE OF $15.95 (List Price: $19.95) 


Whether you're a broadcaster, an independent 
producer, an agency creative, a corporate video 
manager, a medical, educational or religious user, 
a programming executive or a government 
administrator, you'll wah't to make BM/E's 
ENG/EFP/EPP HANDBOOK an essential part of 
your buying process — as a planning guide for the 
80's and a buying guide for today. 


Save $4.00 off the regular list price of $19.95 by 
sending in this coupon today. 



295 Madison Ave . New York. N Y 10017 

Please send ( copies) of BM/E s ENG/EFP/EPP HAND- 
BOOK at the special introductory price of only $15 95 per 
copy (offer good through 2/28/81) 




City State 



Total Amounl $ 

N YS Residents Add 8-% Sales Tax $ 

Postage and Handling $2 85 U S , 

$4 00Foieign $ 

Total Enclosed $ 

Charge it to my rjBankamencard. QVISA. DMasterCard, 01 

□ InterbankCard. # 

Makes checks payable to Broadcasl Management/Engineering 




FOR SALE: Canon Scoopic with case, 
batteries, charger, and filters. $1000. 
Call: Steven Jones, (212) 928-2407. 

FOR SALE: 4" x 5" Graphic View camera 
with Weston Master 5 light meter, 
holders, and extras. Call: Steven Jones, 
(212) 928-2407. $375.00. 

FOR RENT: CP16 with 12-120 
Angenieux* batteries, charger and 
magazine. $400 weekly. Rates negoti- 
able for long term rentals. Call: Steven 
Jones, (212) 928-2407. 

FOR SALE: Sony VO 2860, one year old, 
excellent condition, only one operator. 
Asking $3500. Call: Barbara Kristaponis, 
(212) 472-6760. 

FOR RENT: Eclair NPR with crystal or 
sync motors, adjustable Angenieux view 
finder, all Angenieux zoom lenses, high- 
speed prime lenses, magazines and bat- 
teries. Power zoom motors are available. 
Also, tripods & heads: O'Connor 50 & 
Miller fluid head with Ronford or 
Mitchell legs (standard, medium, baby & 
hi-hat). Call: (212) 748-8475, (703) 

FOR SALE: CP16 R camera body, view- 
finder, four magazines, batteries and 
chargers. Mint condition, $5,900. Con- 
tact: Mike Hall, RR 5, Box 95A, Muncie, 
IN 47302, (317) 284-5869. 

FOR RENT: 6-plate Steenbeck, 16mm, 
with complete editing facility. Also 
sound transfers available. Call: (212) 

SERVICES: Soundman with Nagra 4.2 
and mics, available for sound work. Call: 

FOR SALE: ASACA ACC 3000 2-piece 
portable color TV camera. 3-tube, 10-1 
Canon auto-zoom w/macro, auto white 
balance, AC adapter, batteries, shoulder 
brace, cables, cases. $4,500. Call: 
Christopher Coughlan, (212) 496-8638, 

FOR SALE: JVC 3-tube color studio 
camera, model NU-1003, with aluminum 
case, 4 1 /2 " VF, zoom lens, C-mount 
adaptor, break-out box with cable, x/n 
ratio 46 db, 300+ lines resolution, very 
good shape, BEST OFFER. Call: Dennis 
M. Demessianos, (401) 847-4820. 

FOR SALE: Hitachi studio adaptors 
for models FF 20, FP 20s, FP 3060a and 
GP 7 cameras. Consisting of 2 each 
Op-60, VM-702, SO-60 and 4 C 1522cc. 50 
ft. studio cables. Less than 3 months' 
use, mint condition. BEST OFFER. Call: 
Dennis M. Demessianos, (401) 847-4820. 


FOR SALE: Pair of rewinds, never used. 
Asking $40. Contact: Julian Rubenstein, 
(212) 678-5038 days, 799-7265 evenings 
and early mornings. 

FOR RENT: New CP 16R camera, in- 
cluding: 10-150 Angenieux zoom lens, 
two 400 ft. magazines, 2 batteries & 
chargers, handgrip, snap latch mounts 
for shoulder pod and tripod, through- 
the-lens lightmeter with l.e.d. readout. 
Contact: Sunrise Films, 250 West 57 St., 
NY NY, (212)581-3614/15. 

FOR SALE: Bell & Howell 545 Filmo 
Sound Specialist auto-load 16mm pro- 
jector; NCE fluid with tripod, spreaders 
and case; Eclair to C-mount adaptor; 
Data rings 9.5/57 lens; Meir-Hancock hot 
splicer; 1 Moviscop viewer; synch 
blocks with magnetic reader; 2 guillo- 
tine tape spliers; 1 home-made formica 
top editing table with shelves. Call: Paul 
Desaulniers, BF/VF, Mon-Fri 10am-noon, 

FOR SALE: Moviola M-77-16 6-plate 
editor, $8,500. Eclair ACL package: in- 
cludes two 200' mags, Imarec view- 
finder, ground glass, aluminum case, 
and Cine-60 belt. $5,200. Outstanding 
condition, very little mileage. Call: Paul 
Desaulniers, BF/VF, Mon-Fri 10 am- 
noon, (617) 536-1540. 

WANTED TO BUY: pair of binoculars for 
Boston Film/Video Foundation projec- 
tion booth. Call: BF/VF, (617) 536-1540. 

ROOM FOR RENT: 16mm, $35/hour. 
Available hour, day, week, weekend. 
Call: Hess Productions, (212) 673-6051. 

FOR SALE: CP 16 12-120 Angenieux 
zoom with case, batteries, charger and 2 
magazines. $4900. Contact: Steven 
Jones, (212) 928-2407. 

FOR SALE: CAMBO-View 4x5 with 20 
brand new holders, 150mm Schneider 
lens, Pentax spot meter, and case: $700. 
Also photographic sink, 30" x 84" dual 
faucet system with stand and shelving 
system: $525. Contact: Steven Jones, 
(212) 928-2407. 


FOR RENT: New 8-plate Steenbecks. 
$725 monthly. Rates negotiable for long 
term rentals. Call: Steven Jones, (212) 

FOR RENT: 2 Picture 16-35 KEM in fully- 
equipped editing room near 11th Street 
and Broadway. Contact: Charles Light, 
(212) 473-8043; Jacki, (212) 925-7995. 

TING ROOM FOR RENT. Private, 24-hour 
access. 6-plate Moviola. Reasonable 
rates. Call: Hess Productions, (212) 

ANIMATORS: Use our computer- 
automated Oxberry Master Series 
camera with Image Expander (for slide- 
to-film transfer). Low rates, expert 
assistance. Film Planning Associates, 
38 East 20 St., NY NY 10003, (212) 

love Moogy Klingman's Hi-Five audio- 
video studios. Two fully-equipped color 
TV studios plus 8 or 16-track audio 
facilities. Hi-Five, 237 West 54 St., NY 
NY 10019, (212) 582-6414. 

FOR RENT: Moviola Flatbed, 6-plate M 
77 in brand new, fully equipped editing 
room. Flickerless prism, l.e.d. readouts, 
frame, footage, seconds, minutes, 240 
frm. per second, high speed forward, 
reverse. Low rates. Sunrise Films, (212) 


14, 15 and 16. Contact: Walt Carroll, 
Olympic Media Information, 71 West 23 
St., NY NY 10010, (212) 675-4500. 

Deadline, September 1. Entries must 
have aired for the first time between 
August 1, 1980 and July 31, 1981. For 
more info: NCWW, 1211 Connecticut 
Ave. NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC 
20036, (202) 887-6820. 

Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville TN, June 
9-13. Deadline: May 9. Contact: SCFC, 
Creekside Farm, Rt. 8, Greeneville TN 

INDIVIDUAL, Deadline: June 1. Winners 
to be shown over public station KCET in 
southern CAIifornia. Films, videotapes 
and slide shows produced during the 
past 18 months are eligible. For info: 
Neil Goldstein, FFOTEI, Children's 
Hospital of LA, Box 54700, Terminal 
Annex, Los Angeles CA 90054. 

MINORITIES is a mini-festival being 
planned by the Community Film 
Workshop of Chicago. Independent 
films by Asian, Hispanic and Native 
American producers will be featured. 
For info: CFWC, 441 North Clark Street, 
Chicago IL 60610, (321) 527-4064. 


FESTIVAL, deadline May 1. Open to 
films/videotapes from commercial & 
noncommercial filmmakers in Canada, 
Mexico and United States. For info: 
NACFF, Suite 502, 2033 M St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 293-3372. 


in having films and videotapes screened 
at the Cafe. Contact: Raul Santiago 
Sebazco, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 235 
East 3 St., NY NY, (212) 924-8148. 

NOUNCE a call for short films and 
videotapes for Round II of the Brief En- 
counters Project. Deadline: April 30. For 
info: Center Screen, 18 Vassar St., Room 
20B-126, Cambridge MA 02139, (617) 

WNYC-TV/CHANNEL 31 is looking for 
videotapes on the subject of "the pro- 
motion of contemporary music" and "as 
audio/visual art." Call: Marcel Peragine, 
WNYC Field Unit, (212) 566-0850. 

pendent film and video makers. Special- 
ize in films for the health care profes- 
sion, but short films and tapes for all 
markets welcome. We offer alternatives 
to traditional distribution arrangements. 
For further information, contact Arthur 
Hoyle, Pelican Films, 3010 Santa Monica 
Blvd., Suite 440, Santa Monica CA 
90404, (213) 828-4303. 

CHICAGO has planned a year-long 
monthly catalogue of films titled The In- 
dependent Filmmakers Showcase. Black 
filmmakers are invited to submit their 
films. For info: PAC, Obie Creed, 1416 
South Michigan, Chicago IL 60605, (312) 

VIDEOTAPES on American labor and 
Hispanic history and culture. Contact: 
Liz Oliver, Manager, Independent Ac- 
quisitions, WNET/13, 356 West 58 St., 
NY NY 10019. 

SYSTEM is seeking programming that 
describes a "wholistic view of the 
world's natural resources and its 
citizens' synergism." Contact: NETW, 
PO Box 1281, Santa Cruz CA 95061. 

STUDIO PERFORMANCE, a new gallery 
in Palo Alto, is seeking tapes for their 
monthly video screenings. For info: (415) 

BUFFALO BETTY wants your best 
photos, slides, films, videotapes, paint- 
ings, art and graphics for a new video- 
art magazine TV show. For info: Broome 
St. Studio, (212) 226-0129. 

of Mount St. Helens. Pre-eruption, erup- 
tion and post-eruption. Contact: The 
Film Loft, (503) 243-1942. 

tively screening works to be included in 
their monthly exhibition series, Local 
Produce, featuring films/videotapes by 
Northwest media producers. For info: B. 
Parker Lindner, HHMS, 233 Summit Ave. 
East, Seattle WA 98102, (206) 322-9010. 

compiling a list of films/videotapes 
about or by still photographers. Contact: 
Maryann Chach, EFLA, 43 West 61 St., 
NY NY 10023, (212) 246-4533. 

terested in reviewing films/videotapes 
for and about adolescents. Contact: 
Mary K. Chelton and Dorothy M. 
Broderick, PO Box 6569, University AL 
35486, (205) 556-2104. 

95 member stations. Though they prefer 
work produced by Latinos, it is not man- 
datory. For info: LC, KCET, 4401 Sunset 
Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90027. 

serves almost 60 public stations na- 
tionally. Contact: Laurell Shereurman, 
Director of Programming, PO Box 8311, 
Lincoln NE 68501. 

CONSORTIUM represents 29 member 
stations. Their basic desire is to channel 
the work of independents into the PBS 
network. Contact: Frank Rhodes, NBPC, 
700 Bryden Road, Suite 135, Columbus 
OH 43215. 

WGBY/CHANNEL 57 in Springfield, MA 
is looking for works by local indepen- 
dent producers, or by any independent 
producer whose work is about the 
Springfield area, to be included in the 
series Alternate Images. Deadline for 
submission is the end of April. Contact: 
Alison Bassett, WGBY/Channel 57, 44 
Hampden Street, Springfield MA 01103, 


awarded funds to Film In The Cities, St. 
Paul, to support 3 filmmaker residencies 
in secondary schools; and to seven sites 
to support film and video programs in 
Minnesota. These sites are: Hibbing 

Community College, Mesabi Community 
College, Itasca Community College, 
North Country Arts Council, Rochester 
Art Center, South Central Minnesota 
Inter-Library Exchange, and Thief River 
Falls Arts Council. For info: MSAB, 2500 
Park Ave., Minneapolis MN 55404, (612) 
341-7170 or (800) 652-9747. 

Romalyn Tilghman, PO Box 866, Omaha 
NE 68101, (402) 553-2444 (IA, MN, NE, 
ND, SD). Louis LeRoy, 548 W. Seagoe, 
Coolidge AZ 85228, (602) 723-4729 (AZ, 
CO, NM, UT, WY). Terry Melton, 278 
Rural Avenue South, Salem OR 97302, 
(503) 581-5264 (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA). 
Dale Kobler, PO Box 15187, San Fran- 
cisco CA 94115, (415) 863-3906 (N. CA, 
Amer. Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, N. 
Marianas). Virginai Torres, 3500 White 
House PI., Los Angeles CA 90004, (213) 
385-3990 (S. CA, NV). Rudy Nashan, 30 
Savoy St., Providence Rl 02906, (401) 
274-4754 (CT, MA, ME, NH, Rl, VT). John 
Wessel, 2 Columbus Circle, NY NY 
10019 (212) 957-9760 (NY, Puerto Rico, 
Virgin Islands). Eduardo Garcia, 113 
Valley Rd., Neptune NJ 07753, (201) 
774-2714 (DE, MD, NJ, PA). Gerald Ness, 
2130 P. St. NW, Apt. 422, Washington 
DC 20037 (202) 293-9042 (DC, KY, NC, 
SC, TN, VA, WV). Robert Hollister, PO 
Box 54346, Atlanta GA 30308, (404) 
627-9757 (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS). Frances 
Poteet, #1410, 601 East Austin, Alamo 
TX 78516, (512) 787-6756 (AR, KS, MO, 
OK, TX). Bertha Masor, 4200 Marine Dr., 
Chicago IL 60613, (321) 935-9530 (IL, IN, 
Ml, OH, Wl). 

awarded grants to 40 independent film- 
makers: Jane F. Aaron (NU), Chris W. 
Beaver (CA), Lisze A. Bechtold (CA), 
Larry C. Bullard (NY), Kathleen Collins 
(NY), Ronald Gray (NY), Larry Cuba (CA), 
Julie Dash (CA), Ze'ev Dunie (IN), Maren 
S. Erskine (NY), Meg M. Foss (NY), 
Ronald J. Franco (NJ), Vincent R. Gior- 
dano (NY), Judy L Goldberg (NM), Juan 
P. Lopez (NM), Allen Goorwitz (CA), Lynn 
R. Hamrick (CA), Josh J. Hanig (CA), 
Sally Heckel (NY), Max A. Hellweg (CA), 
Warrington Hudlin (NY), Linda R. Klosky 
(NM), Michel D. Korolenko (NY), Kathryn 
L Kramer (CA), Donald J. E. Mac Donald 
(CA), Steve F. Marts (WA), Michael 
Negroponte (MA), Emiko C. Omori (CA), 
Matthew Patrick (NY), Sara J. Petty (CA), 
Patricia Quinn (WA), Christian M. 
Schiess (CA), Gregg C. Schiffner (CA), 
lllene J. Segalove (CA), Maureen 
Selwood (NY), Myra J. Shannon (WA), 
Newton Thoman Sigel (NY), Pamela 
Yates (NY), Rose-Marie R. Turko (CA), 
and Robert M. Wilson (NY). For info: 
AFI, JFK Center, Washington DC 20566, 
(202) 828-4040. 19 


AND HUMANITIES funds artists-in- 
schools program for residencies ranging 
from a few days to five months. To par- 
ticipate, you must register with the 
Colorado Artists Register at the Boulder 
Public Library. For application forms: 
CCAH, 770 Pennsylvania, Denver CO 
80203, attn: Barbara Neal or call: (303) 

awarded the Brainerd Area Arts Alliance 
$495 to fund an evening screening of 
Super-8 and 16mm films by independent 
Minnesota filmmakers, including Dianne 
Peterson, Danielle Fredrickson and Kent 
Olson. For more info: MSAB, 2500 Park 
Ave., Minneapolis MN 55404, (800) 
652-9747 or (612) 341-7170. 

three grants totalling $15,500 to be used 
toward the purchase of post-production 
equipment for the FAF editing facility. 
For more info: Chris Dorr, Gail Silva, 
FAF, 2940 16th St., #310, San Francisco 
CA 94103, (415) 552-8760. 

awarded $3,500 from the Artists Founda- 
tion Fellowship Program. The film and 
video fellows are: Alexandra Anthony, 
Billy Jackson, Boyd A. Norcross, James 
M. Shook, Ros Barron, Benjamin 
Bergery, Wendelin Glatzel and Fred 
Simon. For more info: Artists Founda- 
tion, 100 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116, 
(617) 482-8100. 


WORK WANTED: Independent film/ 
video artist seeks employment in any 
aspect of production. Experience as 
director, camerman and editor. Carl 
Kabat, (212) 255-7857. 

award-winning documentary producer 
for speculative project. Involves tele- 
phone interviews and legwork in New 
York area. Film/video and journalism 
background helpful. College student 
looking for experience fine. Contact: Bill 
Einreinhofer, (201) 648-3640 or (201) 

production of The Ephiphany, a feature- 
length filmplay about a mythmaker's 
symbolic quest and rite of renewal. Con- 
tact: Louis Vinciguerra, PO Box 883, 
Mendocino CA 95460. 

POSITION WANTED: Union camerman, 
with complete camera package, in- 
terested in shooting non-commercial (in- 

dependent narrative or documentary) 
projects. Call: Hassan lldari, (212) 
748-8475, 490-0077. 

SCRIPT WANTED: Producer/Director 
seeks film script: half-hour mystery or 
suspense drama with emphasis on char- 
acter (no car chase or horror scripts, 
please!) for broadcast-quality produc- 
tions and possible TV sale. Contact: 
David Boehm, 333 West 86 St., Suite 
1602-B, NY NY 10024. 


ARTSEARCH is a new bulletin available 
by subscription only, providing exten- 
sive listing of jobs, training oppor- 
tunities, internships and fellowships in 
the arts. For info: Theatre Communica- 
tions Group Inc., 355 Lexington Ave., 
New York NY 10017, (212) 697-5230. 

Source Book on Black Films produced 
in America by independent film com- 
panies between 1910 and 1950. By 
Henry T. Sampson. Available from 
Scarecrow Press Inc., 52 Liberty St., PO 
Box 656, Metuchen NJ 08840, (201) 

ON, by Maureen Gaffney and Gerry 
Bond Laybourne. A guidebook for film 
programming for children. Available 
from: ORYX Press, 2214 N. Central at 
Encanto, Phoenix AZ 85004, (602) 

EXPANDING MEDIA, edited by Deirdre 
Boyle. A collection of 45 articles by 
media specialists on how to select and 
evaluate audio, visual and print media. 
Available from: ORYX Press, 2214 .N. 
Central at Encanto, Phoenix AZ, (602) 

FOR BROADCASTING has a variety of 
publications of interest to indepen- 
dents, including: Citizens' Media Direc- 
tory ($3.50) and Changing More Than the 
Channel: A Citizens' Guide to Forming a 
Media Access Group ($6.00). For a com- 
plete list, write: NCCB, PO Box 12038, 
Washington DC 20005. 

NEWSLETTER is a free publication 
available to all interested parties. The 
ISN's purpose is "to support the produc- 
tion of quality public programming for 
and about students and young adults." 
For more info: Newsletter of the ISN, 
2727 Duke St., #916, Alexandria VA 

by Teresa de Lauretis and Stephen 
Heath. Papers and discussions from a 

conference held Feb. 22-24, 1978 by the 
Center for Twentieth Century Studies at 
the University of Wisconsin at Mil- 
waukee. Available for $20 (cloth) from 
St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., NY NY 


Wizard of Waukesha and Different 
Drummer: Elvin Jones (April 8-14); Gal 
Young Un (April 15-28); Rosie the Riveter 
and Love It Like A Fool (April 29-May 5); 
Impostors (May 6-12); Heartworn High- 
ways (May 13-26); A Celtic Trilogy (May 
27-June 2); Alambrista (June 3-5); Viet- 
nam: An American Journey (June 6-8); 
Agee (June 9) and The Dark End of The 
Street (June 10-16). At the Art Theatre, 
8th St. east of Fifth Ave., NY NY, (212) 
GR 3-7014. 

BOMB will be broadcast nationally on 
public television April 29 at 8 pm EDT. 
Produced by Jon Else in association 
with KTEH, San Jose CA. 

MUSEUM will be circulated nationally. 
The programs include works by: 
Kenneth Anger, Hollis Frampton, Larry 
Gottheim, Andrew Noren, James Benn- 
ing, Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, 
Robert Frank, Ernie Gehr, Barry Gerson, 
Better Gordon, Martha Haslanger, David 
Haxton, Ken Jacobs, George Landow, 
Yvonne Rainer, Stuart Sherman, and 
Chick Strant. For info on scheduling and 
fees: Steve Aronson, American Federa- 
tion of Arts Film Dept., (212) 988-7700. 

coordinating a national tour of indepen- 
dently produced films, to begin in Wash- 
ington DC on June 19. The 1981 tour in- 
cludes: San Francisco, Houston, New 
Orleans and Atlanta. For more info: 
Nancy Sher, AFI Exhibition Services, 
AFI, JFK Center, Washington DC 20566, 
(202) 828-4040. 

BROKEN ARROW, a documentary in- 
vestigating nuclear weapons storage 
and transportation in the San Francisco 
Bay area, will be broadcast by WNET/13 
on April 9 at 10:30 pm and by WETA in 
Washington DC on April 21 at 10:30 pm. 
Produced for KQED's Evening Edition. 
For more info: Fred V. Cook, 723 
Shrader, San Francisco CA 94117, (415) 


LTD. will be screening videotapes pro- 
duced by ten artists from New York 
State, April 1-15, Studio A in the base- 
ment of the Lecture Hall Complex, State 
University of NY at Binghamton. For 
more info: Maureen Turim, Dept. of 
Cinema, SUNY, Binghamton NY, (607) 

films and video by American indepen- 
dents: Underground USA, produced by 
Eric Mitchell (Sun. April 19, 10:30 pm & 
Thurs. April 23, 11:30 pm). Charleen, pro- 
duced by Ross McElwee, and I'm Not 
From Here, produced by Harvey Marks 
(Sun. April 26, 10:30 pm & Thurs. April 30 
(11:30 pm). We Are The Guinea Pigs, pro- 
duced by Joan Harvey (Sun. May 3, 10:30 
pm & Thurs. May 7, 11:30 pm). Metha- 
done: An American Way of Dealing, pro- 
duced by James and Julia Reichert (Sun. 
May 10, 10:30 pm & Thurs. May 14, 11:30 
pm). The Dozens, produced by Randall 
Conrad and Christine Dall (Sun. May 17, 
10:30 pm and Thurs. May 21, 11:30 pm). 
For more info: Liz Oliver, WNET/13, 356 
West 58 St., NY NY 10019, (212) 

presents screenings of the 19th Ann 
Arbor Film Festival, Thurs.-Sun. April 
16-19, at 7 and 9 pm. For info: SFAI, 800 
Chestnut St., San Francisco CA 94133. 

CARNEGIE INSTITUTE will screen: Less 
(1975), Apparatus Sum (1972), and Zorns 
Lemma (1970) by Hollis Frampton 
(Thurs. April 16, 8 pm). 11th Annual 
Open Screening of 8mm, Super 8 and 
16mm films by Pittsburgh filmmakers 
(Fri. and Sat. May 1 & 2, 8 pm). A Sunday 
in Hell (1977) by Jorgen Leth, inde- 
pendent filmmaker from Denmark (Wed. 
May 6, 8 pm). Program of Avant-Garde 
Films from the Netherlands, organized 
by Holland Experimental Film (Fri. 
May 8, 8 pm). T,0,U,C,H,l,N,G, (1966), 
Color Sound Frames (1975) and 
S:tream:S:S:ection: by Paul Sharits 
(Thurs. May 14, 8 pm). There will be a 
video installation exhibition by Buky 
Schwartz, Sat. May 16 through June 21. 
For info: Section for Film & Video, 
Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, 4400 
Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213, 
(412) 622-3212. 


w/f leece lining was left at AIVF after the 
screening of El Salvador. Will the owner 
please drop by 625 broadway and claim 

OF ARTISTS provides many services: 
the Artists' Hotline, (212) 285-2121, will 
answer questions on loft and other 
tenant problems, employment and pro- 
fessional development, business and 
legal advice, social service eligibility, in- 
come tax preparation and general arts 
resources. For more info: FFTCOA, 280 
Broadway, Suite 412, NY NY 10007, (212) 

The Battle of Westlands by Carol Mon 
Pere and Sandra Nichols; Joan Robin- 
son: One Woman's Story by Red Cloud 
Productions; and A Plague on Our 
Children by Robert Richter (produced 
for Nova, WGBH/Boston). 

FILM? Veteran composer of 2 Off-Off 
Broadway productions and 2 films seeks 
filmmaker for collaboration. Incidental 
music, songs and adaptations. Call: 
Steve Lockwood after 6 pm, (212) 

PHOTOGRAPHY for The Hobbs Case, 
an independent film produced by Allen 
Coulter, was awarded an Emmy for 
Cinematography. The Hobbs Case was 
aired on WNET/13 on December 30, 
1979, as part of the Independent Focus 

tions as a national clearinghouse to 
grant extended off-air videotaping 
licenses to schools, colleges and 
libraries. A regular newsletter contains 
information about available and upcom- 
ing programs. For info: TLC, (800) 
323-4222, in Illinois call collect, (312) 

BETSY COMBIER is living in Cairo, 
working on Solar Video. She has avail- 
able a 20 minute, %" videotape on a 
completely solar village in the Nile Delta 
showing solar windmills and TV. To see 
the tape call: Jim Vito, (212) 243-6391; 
Karen Wald, 864-3985. Betsy's address 
is: c/o I. Safwat, American University in 
Cairo, PO Box 2511, Cairo, Egypt, 
Telephone: 22213. 


PROGRAM at NYU: Videodisc as an In- 
teractive Medium, April 9 & 10, led by 
John Ciampa, President, American 
Video Institute. For info: Michele 
Hilmes, ITP, 725 Broadway, NY NY 
10003, (212) 598-3338. 

TIONS INSTITUTE is offering these 

seminars: Contracts and Copyright: 
Legal Perspectives on Managing Tele- 
vision Production, and a film program- 
ming seminar, immediately following 
the SECA Conference in Norfolk, VA. 
Contact: NAEB, 1346 Connecticut Ave. 
NW, Washington DC 20036, (202) 

is conducting a series of meetings 
around the country to introduce its ser- 
vices to independent radio producers. 
Contact: George Gelles, Al, One Lincoln 
Plaza, NY NY 10023, (212) 580-2551. 

Studio Production, %" Videocassette 
Editing, Directors Project, Advanced TV 
Production, Master Class in Film/Video 
Editing. For infoA: YF/VA, 4 Rivington 
Street, NY NY 10002, (212) 673-9361. 

and minorities with at least five years 
experience in executive level positions. 
Contact: Lelani Turrentine, Director, 
ELRP/NAEB, 1346 Connecticut Avenue 
NW, Washington DC 20036, (202) 
785-1100 or Mareatha Counts, Consul- 
tant, KCTS-TV, 4045 Brooklyn Avenue 
NE, Seattle WA 98105, (206) 545-1801. 

has planned two film conferences for 
this year. The first, in May, will be con- 
cerned with children and film; the sec- 
ond, in September, is a multi-media 
communications conference. For info: 
PACSB, 226 South Wabash Avenue, 
Chicago IL 60602, (312) 663-0801. 

an intensive 9-month program in film- 
making for the social sciences. For info: 
Carrol Williams, Director, MIL, Box 493, 
Santa Fe NM 87501, (505) 983-4127. 

FERENCE, May 6-10, Tides Hotel and 
Bath Club, Redington Beach, Florida. 
For info: Stan Kozma, 10002 Lola St., 
Tampa FL 33612, (813) 971-2547. 

WORKSHOPS: Film, Video and the 
Liberal Arts: June 14-26 (Univ. of Kan- 
sas/Lawrence); Documenting Society: 
Ethnographic Film: July 6-24 (Temple 
Univ./Philadelphia); The Teaching and 
Writing of Film History: July 7-28 (Univ. 
of NC/Chapel Hill), Film, Television and 
the Humanities: August 17-22 (Salisbury 
State College/Salisbury, MD); Directors' 
Guild Hollywood Workshop: August 7-14 
(AFI/Hollywood). For more info: AFI, 
Faculty Development Workshops, Edu- 
cation Services, JFK Center, Washing- 
ton DC 20566, (202) 828-4000. 21 

join AIVF 
for the 80s 

Access II: Handbook for Satellite Distribution 

The National Endowment for the Arts has recently completed 
an Independent Producers' Handbook of Satellite Com- 
munications called Access II. This handbook is a practical 
guide for independent producers interested in distributing to 
PTV, cable and commercial television and radio systems. It in- 
cludes descriptions of current satellite systems and networks, 
contact person information and background history of in- 
dependents' usage to date. This handbook is a must for any 
independent involved in self-distribution. 

Authors: Joseph D. Bakan and David Chandler. NEA Publica- 
tion Coordinator: Marion Dix. Copies are $3.00. For more infor- 
mation contact John T. Rice at AIVF. 

Please send me 


an NEA publication, by Joseph D. Bakan and David 
Chandler, under the direction of Shared Communica- 
tions Systems Inc., New York. 

I would like 

copies. At $3.00 per copy I have 

enclosed a check or money order for $. 
My address is 

Make check or money order payable to: 

625 Broadway, New York NY 10012 






























































" ,— ' 












■•— ' 















fc _ 





























































































































k _ 
























































o b 

© 3) 




£ >; 

"3 CO 

^ 2 





































O C 


§ CD Q) 

1 3 

3 <P 




D ~ 

















3 $ 











• - 


CD - 
















CD Q. 









T3 = 

c *- 

■3 * 

CD *" 













• CD 










3 c 




























0) u 











O D> 












3 5- 

1 s 



















— » 








N O 














a. -■ 















0» 3 







_ t. 



C/> j/> 










• — 
























O O 

0- a 




O Q. 

X -» 


to _ 









"° z 




=v -< 

-0 "£ 3J 

z S 


">• z 

> -• 



<5 ■< 

CO • 

m 3j 


? -';?*? '" * JWK--.w(^ 


V/ideo monthly 







THE SKY'S NO LIMIT keeps pu informed of the 
latest developments in satellite distribution of 
independent film and video. 

Brought to you by the people who are doing it: 

The Independent Film and Video Distribution Center 

Distributors of THE INDEPENDENTS, a thirteen 
part series, being seen on public television across the 
nation this season. 

A Quarterly Publication 

The next issue of THE SKY'S NO LIMIT tells you why you don't need us. We take you through each step of getting, your work 
on the satellite. Technical requirements, cost estimates (it's pretty cheap), phone numbers, promotional strategy, legal issues, the 
whole thing — after you read this article you'll know everything you need to know in order to distribute your film or tape nationally 
via satellite. 

ALSO IN THE NEXT ISSUE: Update on Low Power TV . . . journey to the Center ofihe Corporation for Public Broadcast- 
ing LEFTSTAR, A Satellite for the Rest of Us ... On the Road with Kim Spencer, Director of the Public Interest Video 

Network . . . Rich Wyde, lawyer for both Public Merest Video Network and The Independent Film and Video Distribution 
Center, takes us on another trip into the erie and mysterious world of Communications Law . . . Three New Series of THE 
INDEPENDENTS: a Progress Report from the IFVDC . . . The Farm Report from Lorenzo Milam . . . THE SKY'S NO 
LIMIT INTERVIEW: Jeremy D. Lansman, "Excuse me Sir, Do you have a License for that Lightbulb?" . . . and more 
and more and more. 

COMING IN FUTURE ISSUES OF THE SKY'S NO LIMIT: PBS Pay TV: The Grand Illusion or, While you're up 
gel me a Commercial . . . The American Film Institute Chainsaw Massacre: In which our rather Jaundiced Eye Takes a Look at 
this Venerable Institution . . . Ronald Reagan vs. Public TV: Governing on the Dark Side of the Brain . . . Dividing up the 
Territory: The War Between the Indies . . .and more than you could ever imagine. 

SUBSCRIBE to THE SKY'S NO LIMIT $10.00 per uear $12.00 for first class mailing 

IFVDC P.O. Box 6060 Boulder, Colorado 80306 


I Independent: 

VOL.4 NO. 3 


THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the Foun- 
dation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 625 Broadway, 
9th Floor, NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, A federal agency. Subscription is included in member- 
ship to the organization. 

Editor: Bill Jones 
Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 
Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 

Dee Dee Halleck 

Sol Rubin 

John Rice 

Barbara Turrill 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; 
Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Alan Mitosky, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Louise Zimmerman, Short 
Film Showcase Administrative Assistant; John Rice, Media 
Awareness Project Director; Barbara Turrill. 

The viewpoints expressed "herein are not intended to reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 

by Jonathan Geballe 

MITCHELL KRIEGMAN Interviewed by Bill Jones s 

WHO OWNS THE MEDIA by Sandy Mandelberger 9 

MEDIA CLIPS by John Rice 

INDIES MAKE A DEAL by Larry Sapadin 







Mr. Bill Jones, Editor 

The Independent 

Foundation for Independent Film and Video 

625 Broadway (9th Floor) 

New York, New York 10012 

Dear Mr. Jones: 

Mitchell Block's piece, MARKETS AND MORE MARKETS, in 
the Independent (Volume 3 Number 9) raises more 
questions than can be answered in a short response, but it 
might be useful to clarify one matter concerning CPB's new 
program screening facility. 

CPB does not sell the programs it screens for foreign 
broadcasters and producers. If a potential program buyer 
expresses an interest, we put him directly in touch with 
whoever owns the foreign rights — normally the program's 

Our job is to make public TV programs more visible and 
accessible to foreign broadcasters. It is a service offered to 
both independents and stations. Inquiries should be 
directed to Susan Stone at CPB, 1111 Sixteenth Street, 
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 


David C. Stewart 
International Activities 


In Volume 4 Number 1, the interview with Fran Spielman omits 
as founders of First Run Features, Barry Alexander Brown and 
Glenn Silber. 


THE INDEPENDENT is developing a column, tentatively 
titled- "In Production," reporting on independent works- 
in-progress. If you are in any stage of production, send 
us your press materials, or a brief description of the 
project: subject matter, format, approximate running 
time, production schedule, etc. Send to FIVF/THE IN- 
DEPENDENT, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 

El Salvador: two views 

by Jonathan Geballe 

It was all reminiscent of anoher guerrilla war: armored jeeps 
circling city streets, government soldiers rounding up 
suspected insurgent sympathizers; rebel guerrillas hiding out 
in mountain jungles; mothers crying in anguish over the 
bodies of their dead sons; and corpses, mutilated and dis- 
figured, lying along the roadside out of the city every morning. 
It was the face of a country swept up in terror — and civil war. 

The scenes were from the film El Salvador: Revolution or 

Death, shown at a program sponsored by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film in association with the el 
Salvador Information Office (ES-INFO) at Millennium on Thurs- 
day, March 19. The program also included a film produced by 
the American Security Council called Attack on the Americas. 
As the world's attention focused on El Salvador and the pros- 
pect of US involvement in another guerrilla war loomed, 180 
journalists, filmmakers and concerned citizens crowded into 
the Millennium auditorium to see the films and hear the ex- 
periences of a panel of reporters who had recently returned 
from that war-torn country. The Program was put together by 
FIVF and Glenn silber of ES-INFO to raise the question of bias 
and censorship in the delivery of news and information from a 
politically volatile area. 

Among the panel of reporters were: Janet Shenk, who writes 
for the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), 
Anne Nelson, who has reported on El Salvador for Rolling 
Stone, The Nation and Harpers; and Fernando Moreno, from El 
Diario. Moreno is also a representative of ES INFO, which he 
describes as "a group of journalists concerned with the way 
the media has been reporting news from El Salvador. The 
American people have been shown only one side of the coin. 
We would like to provide different sources, all kinds of 
sources for the people of the United States." 

The panel was also fortunate to have the participation of Rudy 
van Halen, the cinematographer of El Salvador: Revolution or 
Death, and Carlos Fredrico Paredes, a former vice minister 
with the ruling junta of El Salvador. 

A common theme with each of the panel members concerned 
the intimidation of the foreign press by the Salvadorean 
government. Harrassment, terror, even the murder of reporters 
is not uncommon in El Salvador, where the military has 
license to do what it likes. "Not asking question is fairly 
necessary to survive," according to Anne Nelson. Rudy van 
Halen told the audience of his narrow escape from being killed 
at the hands of the military security forces. One night, he said, 
"we had dinner, and we went outside and two soldiers were 
waiting for us. They asked me where we were going and we 
told them in Spanish we were going to our hotel, they said go, 
and as we went they started to shoot about ten bullets — they 
tried to kill us. One bullet hit our director and one hit my 
sound technician." The next day, at a press conference, a 
representative of the junta explained that the film crew was 
drunk and racing their car around the restaurant. His voice 
shaking with the memory of that incident, van Halen said, "I 
am glad I'm still alive." 

A second and equally pervasive point concerning the 
manipulation of news by the United States and the compliant 
role of the American media. The Administration's attempt to 
paint a picture of the El Salvadorean conflict as an East-West 


confrontation has permeated our media in programs such as 
NBC's The Castro Connection, according to Janet Shenk. 
"People like myself and the other people on this panel are 
now known as dis-informers, according to current termi- 
nology," she said. 

Nowhere was the manipulation of facts more apparent than in 
the two films shown in the sequence at the beginning of the 
program. Attack on the Americas was an example of the kind 
of jingoist scare rhetoric that is sweeping in the United States 
with the revival of the mentality of the cold war. In the film 
were maps and diagrams to highlight the purported encircle- 
ment of the United States by revolutionary governments in the 
Western Hemisphere. These revolutions, the film explained, 
were exported by the Russian-Cuban axis and were part of a 
plot to cut the United States off from oil and from its South 
American neighbors. 

But El Salvador: Revolution or Death gave a different view of 
the nature of the war, revealing a conflict that is too broad- 
based and profound to be explained away as simply the work 
of insurgent guerrillas, the film was funded by the World 
Council of Churches, produced by Frank Daimand in Holland 
and engaged a crew of five from the Netherlands. It explained 
the historical dimensions of years of control by the ruling 
oligarchy over the working peasants (a fact not disputed by 
the United States) and documented the repressive measures 
taken by the military, forcing many groups once involved in 
the political process to take up arms in the mountains. El 
Salvador: Revolution or Death brought home the horrible 
depth of terror that is now a part of everyday life to the 
Salvadoreans. Gruesome footage of corpses left lying about 
the city of San Salvador gave evidence of the nightly carnage 
carried out by the security forces of the government. Accord- 
ing to the narrator, the identity of the murderers could be 
ascertained from the hands of the bodies. Grooves in the 
thumbs showed that their hands had been tied together with 
wire as they were led out to be shot: a signatory method of the 
security force soldiers. 

The discussion, which had dealt largely with journalism in El 
Salvador, turned sharply toward the actual political issues 
when Carlos Fredrico Paredes joined the panel. Paredes 
resigned his post as vice-minister of planning in protest on 
January 25, 1981 because "the military component is in 
charge at this moment and there's no possibility to control 
repression of the population." He added that he is in the 
United States to talk with State Department functionaries and 
fulfill some appointments at international financial institu- 
tions "to help clarify the political situation in my country." 

Regarding the question of Cuban designs on El Salvador, 
Paredes told the audience, "The people who make these 
statements that our conflict was generated by Cuba or the 
USSR are completely ignorant of the history of my country. . . 
of the more than a century of exploitation of the working class 
. . .of the frustrated political desire of the people in the pro- 
test process." He condluded, "The international socialists 
(meeting in Panama recently) were absolutely clear that the 
problem in El Salvador is not a problem for Cuba or the USSR. 
It is a problem of the Salvadorean people and must be solved 
by the Salvadorean people." 

Mitchell Kriegmon 

From ANCHOR STORY by Mitchell Kriegman 

Born in 1952, Mitchell Kriegman is a writer/performer/ 
director working in television live performance and on 
audiotape. His work is absurd and comic in nature and 
includes a variety of narrative forms ranging from soap 
operas to confessionals. He began working in video- 
tape with The Director's Workshop, a group of film and 
video makers dedicated to working with actors in the 
television medium. In addition to being a founding 
member of the organization, he began branching off 
into the development of narrative video forms both ex- 
perimental and dramatic. He has been an Artist-in- 
Residence at WNET/ Thirteen's Television Laboratory in 
New York City in 1976, 1978 and 1980 on grants from 
the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation 
for Public Broadcasting, and the New York State Coun- 
cil on the Arts. He has also received fellowships from 
the MacDowell Colony and the Creative Artists Program 

INTERVIEWED by Bill Jones 

Services (CAPS) and the National Endowment for the 
Arts Visual Arts Division (1979 and 1980) for Video. His 
broadcast on September 9, 1979 on WNETIThirteen as 
part of the Video and Film Review series with three 
subsequent repeat telecasts as a special. Two video- 
tapes; DOG SUIT and CLEAVAGE were purchased by 
NBC for Michael O'Donoghue's comedy special "Mr. 
Mike's Mondo Video" which was released as a film in 
Sept. 1979. Three videotapes: ANCHOR STORY 
broadcast as part of the CBS comedy series "No Holds 
Barred" which aired September 12, 19 and 26, 1980. He 
has performed live at The Franklin Furnace, The 
Kitchen and Artists Space in New York under the name 
Marshall Klugman which is his performance persona. In 
addition his audiotapes THE TELEPHONE STORIES 

were heard in special telephone booths at the Whitney 
Museum and via a telephone hook-up in March 1980. 

In November 1980 Kriegman began work for NBC's 
Saturday Night Live as comedy writer, creator of his 
own video segments and occasional performer. In this 
capacity he completed and aired three video tapes, The 
Dancing Man with Bill Erwin, Someones Hiding in my 
Bed, and Heart to Heart. 

B.J. How did you get involved in video? 

M.K.: I used to write short stories that were not very 
successful. Then after I graduated from college I spent 
some time in Europe where I became very interested in 
film and decided to go to film school in New York. 
While I was waiting for school to begin I began working 
with Alice Spivak and The Director's Workshop where 
new would-be film directors learned to work with actors 
by using video as if it were film, as a practice medium. I 
saw video somewhat differently and began to create 
short story forms especially for video. 

B.J.: Would you say your present work came from a 
literary conceit applied to the electronic media? 

M.K.: There were other influences. I worked with a 
sculptor, in Italy for a year. That was my first art educa- 
tion. But my first grant proposal was to do the video 
equivalents of literary structures such as palindromes 
(the same forward as backward) and anagrams. I was 
also interested in doing what I called broken calli- 
grams. A calligram is a picture with a descriptive text 
like the children's books with a picture of an apple and 
the word 'apple'. 

B.J.: Broken calligrams are like the Magritte painting 
that shows a pipe with the inscription "this is not a 

M.K.: Yes, but I wanted to do this in a narrative form 
so I envisioned a video image with a voice-over about 
something other than the visual image. I'd love to set 
up that kind of dichotomy as a writer but for me it 
seems more successful in video. I also found that to 
effect these devices rigidly was not as interesting as if I 
began with these kinds of structures then broke out of 
them after the dichotomy and tension had been 

B.J. Thematic rather than structural. 

M.K.: Yes, as a motif. I developed other story struc- 
tures that I feel encompass the basic forms I was in- 
terested in. 

B.J.: Such as? 

M.K.: One of my favorites is talking directly to the 
camera as if it were a confidant, and saying thus to the 
viewer that I have a particular problem or find myself 
caught in a particular situation, then by the addition of 
certain visual clues, bits of evidence that I as the nar- 
rater don't seem to be aware of, the viewer is let in on 
more of the story 

B.J.: The viewer takes part in the creation of the story. 


M.K.: Yes, the form is like the T.V. commercials where 
a housewife talks directly to the camera but the rest of 
her family seated at the breakfast table don't know 
they're in a commercial. Only my tapes are not attempt- 
ing to sell anything, they are of a more personal nature. 

B.J.: Can you give an example? 

M.K.: I did a piece for Saturday Night Live called 
Someone's Living in My Apartment. I say to the camera 
that I have a strange feeling that someone else is living 
in my apartment. Then you see bits of evidence such as 
a half-eaten apple. The combination of the narration 
and the visual clues makes a third story line for the 
audience. Finally the camera pulls back and you see a 
woman sitting behind me. The character doesn't know 
she's there. 

B.J. Have you developed any new works? 

M.K.: Yes there's The Dancing Man, also for SNL, 
where this young man can't stop dancing when he 
hears disco music and the music seems never ending. 
And there's a piece I'm working on called Out of Sync, 
in which the sounds always come after the event such 
as a man shaving, then hearing the sound of his ac- 
tions. In both cases I set up a situation and we see the 
character trying to work his way out of this jam. 

B.J.: You say "jam". Do you see these situations 
which are most often comic as crises? The Dancing 
Man is all slapstick. How is that a jam? 

M.K.: In most comedy, slapstick is a momentary con- 
dition. In Dancing Man it becomes chronic. I take 
something that is usually thought of as momentary and 
make it a permanent condition and then show how the 
character adjusts to it. I'm also interested in characters 
that undermine themselves. For example, situations 
where something is expected to happen but never does. 
I've done a piece for cable in which I'm a talk show host 
waiting for a call-in that never comes except at the end 
when I get a wrong number. 

B.J.: Isn't that what happens in the Marshall Klugman 
Show where you don't show up until the end? 

M.K.: It's called Always Late. When the show is ac- 
tually over I arrive. 


B.J. You've talked tangentially about Saturday Night 
Live. You also had spots on No Holds Barred, CBS' at- 
tempt at late night competition for SNL. But you began 
and still work as video artist in gallery contexts such as 
The Kitchen or The Whitney Museum of American Art. 
What's an artist like you doing on a show like Saturday 
Night Live? 

M.K.: First there's a natural crossover in terms of the 
accessibility of my work, in that people find it funny. 
And part of the reason is that I wanted to get involved in 
straight comedy writing because comedy is one of the 
few places in popular entertainment where serious 
issues are dealt with in a conceptual manner. Every 
good comedian works conceptually. I figured if I could 
learn their conceptual language and combine it with my 
own personal understanding I could make my work 
more accessible. 

B.J.: I think your transition from a pure art gallery con- 
text to popular entertainment is not only unusual but 
goes against the notion that contemporary art is elitist. 
Could you talk about the effect of such a transition on 
your work? 

M.K.: Essentially, the network shows wanted older 
material or remakes of older work so in the beginning 
there was no effect. On Saturday Night Live the work I 
did I had already applied for funding from the TV Lab. 
So thus far it really hasn't changed my work. I think it's 
an important challenge, still it can't help but have an ef- 
f ec t . 

I just want to make sure my ideas are never compro- 

B.J.: But aren't your works seen differently when 
viewed by a mass audience used to standard TV fare? 

M.K.: T.V. remains guilty until proven innocent, 
because TV is racist and sexist, and unless a show 
signals to the viewers that what they are about to see is 
not like other TV then you are prone to fitting into the 
standard perception. The work can be viewed in accord 
with certain stereotypes. When I worked at SNL I wasn't 
as aware of these problems as I might have been, but 
people have wanted to do personal subject matter on 
TV for a long time. Television is a corporate reality and 
thus does not often facilitate personal expression. 
There are possibilities. Take for instance the notion of 
segments. It's something like having your own show. 

B.J.: Can you give an example of how the TV context 
can effect the meaning of a work? 

M.K.: This is a difficult question, but I have one ex- 
ample though it was only my own feelings about the 
piece. In Someone's Living in My Apartment I don't 
acknowledge the person I'm living with. It was a per- 
sonal statement and in a way confessional about my 
own problem, but I realized or felt that when it was 
viewed in a public television context that it might be 
perceived as another case on television where women 
are ignored. It certainly wasn't intended that way, and I 
only realized there might be a problem afterward. I 
understand it better now. 

B.J.: Television doesn't allow confessional forms. It's 
simply difficult to do personal T.V. 

M.K.: But I can't help but see it as a joke, with me sit- 
ting there telling a personal story. I can't lose sight of 
that. Part of my strategy is to do the most obvious thing 
you can't do by television standards. Television is load- 
ed with things I can fly straight forwardly against. 
Things like telling your own phone number on TV, or 
telling people to turn their sets off. I had a piece for 
Saturday Night Live where during a sketch there is a 
flub up and the director tells the viewers to turn off 
their sets so he can start over. The problem was people 
would never do that. The character of TV is that it is 
always yelling and screaming at you, telling you to buy 
something, telling you it loves you. TV is the medium 
most anxious to please. Turning off their television is 
not something people are asked to do. I like to go 
against that. 

M.K.: Oh I don't know. Sometimes it's depressing 
because it's so difficult. The great thing about late 
night TV the way Lome Michaels defined it was that it 
was defined as an alternative to prime time. Now it's 
beginning to be defined as an important market and is 
becoming more of the main stream. As Mason Williams 
who wrote for SNL said, "It's like being the head shop 
at Sears." There are a lot of contradictions. My goal is 
to stay within the market but as far away from the 
center as possible. I also want to do work in gallery 
situations such as The Kitchen. My goal however is to 
soften and eventually obliterate the line between enter- 
tainment and fine art. I hate the dichotomy. A lot of per- 
formance art is an updating of basic vaudeville, and 
when I see George Burns I think he is a brilliant artist, a 
conceptualist. I'd like to think at least for a moment 
that there is no difference. It's difficult because the 
working situations are so different, but I think the ideal 
situation for any artist working in contemporary media 
would be the model of Buster Keaton who made a two 
reeler every month. There is of course work which is not 
meant for a broad audience and there's certainly 
nothing wrong with that. I use Keaton's model for a 
goal and I always felt the grant system should be used 
toward that larger end, toward that kind of self- 
sufficiency. I think also that it would be best if granting 
agencies thought in terms of a market, because the 
grant world and the commercial are not that different. 
The grants do give you a kind of freedom of expression 
and allow for the development of a personal style 
unavailable for the most part in the strict commercial 
world, but in the era of the Reagan budget cuts the only 
possibility for advancement from this point may be in 
the commercial world. 



What makes you think you're going to be allowed? 

Who Owns the Medio 

by Sandy Mandelberger, ICAP 

Cable television. It has become the buzzword for a tele- 
communications revolution which will change the way 
we work, learn and spend our leisure time. It is one of 
the growth industries in a time of economic conserva- 
tism and shrinkage. Cable, as provider of film and video 
programs, textual information and educational 
resources, has already penetrated 25% of the television 
market. Projections suggest that more than 50% of 
American homes will be "plugged in" by the end of the 

Who are these information providers? Not only the 
owners of the actual cables or technical facilities, but 
who are the suppliers of video or textual information? 
In short, who owns the media? 

To those of us, myself included, who harbor the healthy 
suspicion that bigger is not always better, the growth 
of the cable television industry provides a perfect ex- 
ample of the move of mass communications towards 
hegemony and monopolistic ownership. 

Through acquisition of related companies or mergers 
with former competitors, more and more media in- 
dustries are being controlled by fewer and fewer singly 
powerful companies. While this is not the classic 
smoky backroom brand of conspiracy, it can create a 
situation where competition is stifled and concern with 
advertising and commercialism becomes paramount. 
The current deregulation vogue in Washington and 
greater reliance on marketplace realities has enhanced 
the trend towards conglomeration and corporate cross- 

The ultimate question remains: Will cable be able to 
realize its original mandate — for increased local and 
community use of the medium — as these trends 
towards national networking and centralization build 
momentum in the Reagan 80's. 

Cable's growth as an industry has been, until recently, 
kept in check by the Federal Communications Commis- 
sion (FCC). The FCC was pressured by many groups, 
most notably the National Association of Broadcasters 
(NAB) to retain the primacy of commercial (network) 
broadcasting. The FCC Compromise of 1972 set limits 
upon cable for importation of distant signals (from 
other cities), the degree of local origination program- 
ming and the ability to compete with broadcasters for 
outside materials (the anti-siphoning rules). A series of 
Supreme Court decisions in the mid-70's severely 
weakened the FCC's regulatory jurisdiction and 
ushered in a general trend towards de-regulation, allow- 
ing cable to compete in an open marketplace. 

In its early stages, when cable was used for better re- 
ception of local broadcast signals, it remained largely a 
"mom and pop" ownership situation. Individual 
systems would generally have only a few thousand sub- 
scribers. Generally ownership was indigenous to the 

locality, and was often publicly-owned and financed. 

By the 1970's, cable had become more of an urban 
growth phenomena, and could provide new channel 
space for locally produced programming and distant- 
signal imported stations (not just for local reception). 
By offering an "alternative" kind of programming and 
the newly-developed pay cable channels (Home Box Of- 
fice, most prominently), cable systems became viewed 
as "increasingly profitable operations, with revenue 
growing faster than assets." 

While cable was becoming more profitable, the 
"stakes" became higher and more expensive for the 
franchise bidding. 

You must have a largesse with which to mount a suc- 
cessful bid campaign. You must hire across-the-board 
professionals (from engineers to planners) to plot your 
strategy and implement it. You must be prepared for 
the tremendous initial outlay of money, to secure land 
rights, building rights, to lay the cable, etc. The dollar- 
intensive nature of this industry has prevented smaller, 
more local groups from being actively considered. 

The smaller concerns are being overshadowed by the 
development of Multiple Systems Operators (MSO's). 
Between 1965 and 1978, MSO's increased from 18% 
ownership of all domestic cable systems to over 38%. 
The largest MSO's include such household names as: 
TelePrompter (recently merged with Westinghouse); 
American Television and Communications (owned by 
Time Inc.); Warner-Amex Cable (a joint venture between 
Warner Communications and American Express); 
Times-Mirror (the cable arm of one of print journalism's 
giants); and Viacom (whose parent company is heavily 
into television and film production and syndication). 

Consider Time Inc., with revenues over $2 billion last 
year. In addition to its national newsmagazine and 
Sports Illustrated, it owns the Washington Star; 
American Television and Communications (the second 
largest MSO); Home Box Office (the largest pay cable 
system); WOTV, a NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids; Time- 
Life Films; the Book of the Month Club; and minor in- 
terest in advertising and paper goods industries. In 
short, Time has significant holdings in the broad- 
casting, cable, pay cable, journalism and publishing 
areas. Ben Bagdikian of the AFL-CIO describes Time as 
a "private Ministry of Information and Culture for the 
United States." 

Recent studies have illustrated that one-third of all 
cable systems are controlled by broadcast interests. 
There has been a substantial increase of control by 
newspapers and publishers — from 7% in 1969 to 25% 
in 1978. Telephone and television firms generally own 
cable systems in areas other than their home markets. 
Minority (community or subscriber) ownership is less 
than 3% nationwide. 


As a result of these trends, many of the companies 
developing cable systems are also either current or 
potential suppliers of programming or information. 
Warner, UA-Columbia, Viacom, Times-Mirror, General 
Electric, Westinghouse and Time Inc. are in the posi- 
tion of providing both transmission facilities and pro- 
gram content. In just half a decade, the economic 
future of cable television has become a game only 
giants can play. 

Among the most avid proponents of the deregulation 
atmosphere are members of the corporate community. 
The FCC has considered but never adopted rules ban- 
ning local cross-ownership by radio stations and news- 
papers (leaving it to local cable franchise groups to 
contest). In 1975, the FCC did decide to limit cross- 
ownership by television stations, but only in very con- 
centrated markets, where there would "otherwise be a 
virtual monopoly over local video expression." 

The FCC has banned since 1970, cross-ownership by 
telephone companies, already a monopoly in their 
localities, but this ban is currently being reconsidered 
due to the tremendous pressure exerted by AT&T to 
enter into the lucrative information-to-the-home market. 
Cable system ownership has also been banned for 
television networks. They cannot own a cable system 
anywhere in the country. Recent requests by CBS, 
which plans its first foray into cable sometime this fall, 
would amend this ban to cover only certain markets. 

The FCC has proposed limiting the ownership of cable 
systems to 50 by any one company. No single owner 
would have been allowed to control 2 Million 

subscribers. These proposals have never been formally 
acted upon since first suggested in 1968. 

Cable was developed largely to address a lack of local 
programming from network-dominated broadcast televi- 
sion. However, only Vz of current systems have local 
origination facilities and only 20% can provide live 
local programming. Recent Supreme Court rulings have 
removed cable system requirements to provide access 
channels and pay for studio/production costs for local 
programs (unless specified in the franchise agreement). 
Competition for channel space has become an 
economic and idealogical "hot potato" in recent years. 

The trend seems to be moving aways from local pro- 
gramming to satellite-delivered national programming, 
emanating from a centralized location (primarily New 
York and Los Angeles). The growth of MSO's could be 
limitless since there are no ownership limitations on 
MSO size, pay cable distribution or ownership from 
other mass media companies. 

Smaller companies still predominate the cable land- 
scape, but their numbers are dwindling fast. Will this 
trend towards centralized MSO control allow for the en- 
try of new ownership voices and program suppliers? 
According to a report published by the AFL-CIO, fewer 
than 100 corporate executives control the majority of all 
mas media in the U.S. 

Top management of these media conglomerates have 
only profitibility as a unifying ethic for their diverse 
soldings. And in television terms, profitibility is enter- 
tainment. Will cable live up to its early promise or will 
we be in store of more of the same? Stay tuned. 



Medio Clips 



The Hawkeye, a 22-pound single-unit color video camera/ 
recorder has been unveiled by RCA at the recent NAB conven- 
tion. RCA claims the picture quality is "significantly better 
than that provided by the % " format." The camera is a half- 
inch three-tube design and the recorder uses 20-minute VHS 
type cassettes. However, the base-band "chroma track" 
recording technique is incompatable with VHS equipment and 
will require its own playback unit. 


The Independent Film and Video Distribution Center and the 
Rocky Mountain Broadcast Center have established a new ser- 
vice for independent producers. The Rocky Mountain Broad- 
cast Center is a major video post-production facility in Denver. 
In addition, it is one of the uplinks in the PBS satellite inter- 
connection system. The IFVDC and RMBC have agreed to an 
arrangement whereby independents can realize a 40% dis- 
count off RMBC list prices for post-production and satellite 
uplinking by working through the IFVDC. The IFVDC will 
charge 5% of the total billed to the producer to help offset the 
cost of administering this program. RMBC can utilize virtually 
any satellite currently in operation over the United States, 
which means they are not restricted to Westar-1 use only. 
RMBC's signal transmission includes normal video and audio 
as well as multiple audio channels — stereo broadcasts are 
therefore possible. Independent producers wishing to make 
use of this new service available through the IFVDC should 
call or write: Douglas Cruickshank, Director, IFVDC, PO Box 
606, Boulder CO 80306, (303) 469-5234. 


The House Telecommunications subcommittee plans to hold 
an extensive series of hearings, beginning in four to six 
weeks, on the cable franchising process. The hearings are not 
designed to produce any specific piece of legislation, but are 
intended to answer such questions as whether Congress 
should enact new rules limiting franchise fees or measures re- 
quiring cable systems with a certain penetration to relinquish 
programming control. "We want to take a look at cable fran- 
chising," said subcommittee counsel David Aylward, "but not 
necessarily to do anything. It is such a big topic of contro- 
versy that we feel that now is an appropriate time to look at 
it." The panel plans to hold overview hearings in Washington 
and then visit several states for field hearings. (Reprint from 
Multi-Channel News, February 23, 1981) 


Plans to launch a fourth channel (now limited to 3) in the U.K. 
in November 1982 were recently announced. The new channel 
may possibly offer independents an important outlet for 
distribution of their work. Programming will focus on youth, 
women and cultural topics. England's first Pilot cable fran- 
chises are being awarded; franchisees are said to be in- 
terested in American feature films. For more info on the state 
of independent programming in the U.K., write: Clare Downs, 
Association of Independent Producers, 17 Great Pulteney St., 
London W IR 302, England. 


A national video festival, presented by the Sony Corporation 
of America, will be held at the J.F. Kennedy Center in 
Washington DC on June 3-7. Festival events include a student 
competition, a series of symposia on emerging issues in the 
videofield and an exhibition of important video production 
achievements. For further information, contact: James Hind- 
man or Phyllis Myers, Video Festival, AFI, JFK Center, 
Washington DC 20566, (202) 828-4013. 


On May 7, 1981, PBS will start a weekly critique of the news 
business called Inside Story, with Hodding Carter as commen- 
tator. The program's goal is to increase public understanding 
of the news business and to motivate news organizations to 
do a better job. Please suggest situations for the scrutiny of 
the program staff. Cite instances of abuses or problems you 
observe or have with press and broadcast news, especially 
systemic problems but also isolated failures and successes. 
Write or call: Gary Gilson, Inside Story, One Lincoln Plaza, 
New York NY 10023, (212) 595-3456. 

Indies Moke o Deal 


Twenty-three independent producers are working to 
meet a June 30, 1981 delivery date for The Corporation 
for Public Broadcasting (CPB)'s Independent Anthology 
series. As a result of their joint negotiation with CPB, 
most of these producers are working under a better pro- 
duction contract than the one they were offered by 
CPB. The most significant gain won by the indepen- 
dents was the right to market, without advance CPB ap- 
proval, their ancillary rights for foreign broadcast, inter- 
national theatrical exhibition — including festivals — 
and educational distribution. The film and video makers 
also won the inclusion of a clause providing for the 
reversion, or return, of all U.S. broadcast rights if CPB 
does not air their work within a specified time period. 

The Independent Anthology is the first series of inde- 
pendent work funded by CPB's Program Fund in 
response to the Congressional mandate in the 1978 
Public Telecommunications Financing Act that CPB 
must reserve a substantial portion of its program funds 
for the production of programs by independents, 
especially the smaller independent producers. 

In late October, 1980, the Program Fund selected 23 
proposals from the nearly 900 submitted in response to 
its request for proposals for the Anthology. Work on the 
productions was expected to begin by the first of the 
year. Late in the year, CPB sent out its standard con- 
tracts for signing by the producers. 

Not all of the filmmakers, however, were satisfied with 
the terms of CPB's contract. A number of them, from 
different parts of the country, began discussing among 
themselves what they should do. In early December, 
one of them called AIVF. 

AIVF had been instrumental in securing the 1978 
legislation that resulted in the Anthology. So the 
Association welcomed the opportunity to extend its 
traditional involvement with public broadcasting in a 
new direction: collective negotiations. 

The first step was to find out whether the other film- 
makers had problems with the contract, and would be 
willing to take joint action. The new director of AIVF, 
Lawrence Sapadin, and staffer John Rice, along with 
several of the filmmakers, called as many of the other 
producers as they could reach. At the same time, 
Robert I. Freedman, the attorney retained by AIVF, 
agreed to meet with the filmmakers to discuss the con- 

On Wednesday evening, December 10, 1980, represen- 
tatives of several of the local productions met with Mr. 
Freedman and AIVF staff at AlVF's office. The film- 
makers each identified the parts of the contract that 
they had trouble with. Priorities were set, and the pros- 
pects for modification discussed. At the end of the 
meeting, the producers agreed to have Freedman repre- 
sent them in a negotiation with CPB, provided that 
more than half of the Anthology filmmakers agreed to 
go along. 


The list of filmmakers was divided up among AIVF staff 
and several of the filmmakers. For the next few days, 
they telephoned the other producers, describing the 
meeting and enlisting support. When the seventeenth 
producer agreed to join, Freedman was notified. That 
day, he called CPB to set a date for talks. 

On December 18, 1980, two representatives of what 
came to be called the "Filmmakers' Committee", Ralph 
Arlyck and Pam Yates, went to Washington DC with 
Freedman to meet with Program Fund staff. The Pro- 
gram Fund was represented by Deputy Director Eugene 
Katt, Program Coordinator Jennifer Lawson, Business 
Manager Jennifer Arps, and Deputy General Counsel 
Paul Symczak. The producers had no idea what to ex- 

In fact, the meeting went very well. Both sides pro- 
ceeded in good faith and with the shared purpose of 
getting the Anthology on the air in Fall 1981. The film- 
makers requested reasonable changes in the contract 
that would ultimately benefit all concerned. The Pro- 
gram Fund staff made a sincere effort to accomodate 
the producers, and moved on almost every issue raised. 

As a result of the Washington meeting and several 
follow-up telephone calls, CPB agreed to changes in 
these areas: 

• Ancillary rights — the original contract stated that 
the filmmakers could not sell any subsidiary or ancil- 
lary rights, such as foreign broadcast or "audio visual 
exposure", without CPB's advance agreement. For a 
topical film or tape, quick exposure in festivals, 
theaters and foreign markets is essential both for the 
success of that work and to raise money for the next. 
Having to get CPB's approval for such ancillary uses 
could result in substantial delay, if not refusal. 

The new agreement was amended to eliminate the need 
to seek CPB's approval for ancillary sales. The new 
language reads: 

"CPB's approval is hereby given for Contractor to 
license rights for educational audio-visual distri- 
bution...; for foreign telecasting and for 
theatrical exhibition throughout the world, in- 
cluding exhibition in film festivals." 

The filmmakers were less succedssful in clarifying the 
operation of CPB's 50% share of the net proceeds from 
ancillary distribution. However, even there CPB ex- 
pressed a willingness to deal with filmmakers' prob- 
lems with the language on a case-by-case basis. 

• Reversion of rights — Under the CPB contract, CPB 
retains exclusive broadcast rights for 3 years, 
commencing with the first national television release, 
with no provision for reversion of broadcast rights to 
the producer in the event that CPB choses not to air the 
project within a given period of time. The filmmakers 
demanded reversion if a program was not scheduled for 
broadcast within six months, or actually broadcast 

within nine. CPB rejected this as leaving too little flexi- 
bility in broadcast scheduling, and counter-offered that 
a program would revert if it was not scheduled for 
broadcast within 18 months. The filmmakers rejected 
this, arguing that the formula "scheduled for 
broadcast" was still much too open-ended. 

The final agreement, reached late in the day of 
December 31, 1980, provides for reversion if the project 
is not aired within 18 months of delivery date or of 
September 30, 1981, whichever is later. The agreement 
is far from ideal on this point. However, given the time 
pressures, it was the best the Anthology producers 
could do. 

• No-alteration clause — a paragraph was added pro- 
hibiting CPB from editing or altering the program con- 
tent as delivered by the filmmakers. 

• Outtakes — the CPB contract required the producers 
to supply CPB with outtakes, if requested, for promo- 
tional purposes. The filmmakers added language that 
selection of such outtakes must be made by the pro- 
ducers, not CPB. 

• Force majeure — Language was added giving the 
producers a 60-day grace period for the delivery of the 
project in the event that delivery is delayed by causes 

beyond the producers' control, such as an "act of God; 
fire; lockout; strike or other labor dispute; riot or civil 
disorder; war or armed insurrection;. . ." 

• Records — the period during which filmmakers 
would have to maintain records and make them avail- 
able to CPB is limited to 3 years from delivery date. 
There was no limit at all in CPB's contract. 

• In sum, the negotiations were a success. 

In addition to winning an improved production contract, 
the independents who participated in the negotiations 
affirmed broader principles as well: (1) Independents 
can organize themselves. Independents work indepen- 
dently, and with diverse interests and styles, but when 
push comes to shove, they can organize themselves 
quickly and effectively. (2) Independents can work with 
CPB, under the right circumstances. In this case, the 
producers and CPB arrived at new contract terms 
through open and honest negotiation. 

The Anthology negotiations marked a new direction for 
both independents and AIVF in their dealings with 
public broadcasting. Independents should make this a 
model for future collective actions in other production 

THE DOZENS a film by Christine Dall and Randall Conrad 

PTV Legislation 

All Things Reconsidered 

Larry Sapadin 

This has been a heavy Springtime for public broad- 
casting. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
(CPB)'s performance has been reviewed by Congress, 
public television's legislation is being reconsidered, 
and the Reagan Administration is still pressing Con- 
gress with withdraw PTV funding already approved for 

The following day, March 26, the Subcommittee listened 
to a panel discuss the effects of the Administration's 
proposed 25% cut in CPB's appropriation for 1982 and 
'83, and the elimination of the NTIA's Facilities Pro- 
gram. The panel was supposed to explore possible 
alternative funding for CPB. However, according to the 
panelists, there is no funding source capable of replac- 
ing the Federal support that the Administration hopes 
to cut. 


To insulate public broadcasting from short-term 
political interference, Congress devised a "forward 
funding" mechanism whereby CPB is funded by Con- 
gress for a period beginning two years after the date of 
the appropriation. Thus the 1978 Act established fund- 
ing levels for CPB for fiscal years 1981-83. However, in 
its budget-cutting craze, the Reason Administration has 
called for Congress to rescind, or withdraw, that ad- 
vance commitment — precisely the kind of interference 
that the forward funding device was meant to prevent. 

Happily, even the Senate Budget Committee felt un- 
comfortable with this clear violation of Congressional 
intent and voted on March 18 not to recommend rescis- 
sion. The House, expected to be even more favorable to 
public TV, will undoubtedly go along. So current CPB 
funding looks secure for the next two years. 


The House Telecommunications Subcommittee held 
oversight hearings on March 25 and 26, 1981. On the 
25th, one representative each from CPB, NTIA (National 
Telecommunication and Information Administration), 
the Department of Education, and the Department of 
Health and Human Services testified about the perfor- 
mance of public broadcasting. CPB President Robben 
Fleming highlighted the creation of the Program Fund, 
and asserted that over half of the Fund was being used 
for independent production. AIVF disputed that figure 
in a written statement submitted to the Subcommittee, 
demonstrating that independent production repre- 
sented a much smaller percentage of the Program Fund 
and tended to consist of series produced by a few 
major independents. The smaller independents that 
congress had directed CPB to seek out and support 
have been largely bypassed. 



As a result of the "forward funding" mechanism, hear- 
ings are being held by both the House and the Senate 
Subcommittees to determine CPB's structure and fund- 
ing levels for 1984-86. In addition to the existing legisla- 
tion, new bills have been proposed which may change 
the shape of public broadcasting for years to come. 

• The Senate "Goldwater Bill" (S. 720) 

S.720, introduced by Senator Barry Goldwater on March 
17, 1981, is a mixed bag, attractive in some respects, 
appalling in others. On the positive side, S.720 is a pro- 
gramming bill: 50% of CPB's budget would go to sta- 
tions (compared to the current 60%) but would have to 
be used exclusively for programming. CPB would be re- 
quired to use its remaining 45% for programming, as 
well, with a 5% limit on administrative expenses. Under 
the current law, station funds are discretionary, and 
only about 25% of CPB's budget goes toward program- 
ming at the national level. 

On the negative side, however, S.720 fails to specify 
that any portion of those programming funds be re- 
served for independent production, as the current law 
states. Furthermore, funding levels established by the 
bill would result in about a 50% cut in the funds for 
public television. Depending on who you talk to, that is 
either a streamlining or an orderly dismantling of the 

Finally, to make up for declining Federal support, 
public broadcast entities — especially the larger sta- 
tions — would be encouraged to engage in expanded 
commercial ventures, although under S.720 the stations 
could see their CPB funding reduced by the amount of 
their unrelated commercial earnings. 

The Senate Communications Subcommittee held hear- 
ings on S.270 on April 6 and 8, 1981. Ralph Arlyck, an in- 
dependent filmmaker and AIVF member, testified on 
behalf of AIVF. AIVF also submitted a formal statement 
to the Subcommittee. Arlyck was part of a panel of 
independents which included Topper Carew, Michael 
Ambrosino, John Riley, John A. Curtis, and Julie Motz. 

• The House "Collins Bill" (H.R. 2774) 

On March 23, 1981, James Collins, a Texas Republican 
on the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, pro- 
posed a public TV bill which would cut CPB's budget to 
about the same levels as the Goldwater Bill, but would 
increase CPB's funding to local stations to 80-85% of 
its budget with no strings attached, while encouraging 
unrestricted commercialization. This formula would be 
a disaster for independent producers since local sta- 
tions have traditionally been even less willing than CPB 
to fund independently-produced programming. More- 

over, most of the CPB money currently going to sta- 
tions goes toward overhead rather than programming. 

• The "Wirth Bill" 

House Subcommittee Chairman Timothy Wirth, a 
liberal Democrat from Colorado, has just submitted his 
own PTV bill. Although we have not seen the bill yet, it 
is said to be essentially an extension of the current 
legislation with a less dramatically reduced budget. 

The House Subcommittee has scheduled reauthoriza- 
tion hearings for April 28 and 29. AIVF is slated to 

Meanwhile, the white House is still making noises 
about abolishing public television altogether, hopefully 
without effect. It is impossible to predict what shape 
public TV will be in by next Fall. The only certainty is 
that there will be less money in the system, as the 
Reagan budgetary chainsaw continues to cut back 
Federal support for public television and the arts in 





APRIL 8, 1981 

The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. 
(AIVF) is a non-profit trade association of over 1300 indepen- 
dent producers whose styles range from three-minute ex- 
perimental video and film animation to feature-length 

Independents produce their work independently, without the 
support — or the overhead — of the major Hollywood studios 
or television networks. 

AIVF is a sen/ice organization that provides independents the 
technical information and trade representation that they need 
to stay in business. 

AIVF Supports Public Television 

AIVF has always been a strong supporter of public television. 
The public television system was created by Congress 
precisely because commercial television was unable to 
guarantee the production of diverse, innovative, quality pro- 
gramming. That is why we endorse the policy of the Senate 
Bill 720 in its recognition that 

"it furthers the general welfare to encourage public 
audio and video program services which will be respon- 
sive to the interests of the people both in particular 
localities and throughout the United States, and which 
will constitute an expression of diversity and excellence 
"(§396(a) (4)), 

and in its further acknowledgement that support of public 
television is "of appropriate and important concern to the 
Federal Government" (§396(a) (3)). 

AIVF Supports the Strengthening of National Programming 

National programming must be encouraged and supported. 
Senate Bill 720 is commendable for its emphasis on national 
and local programming. In his introduction to the bill, Senator 
Goldwater stated: 

"Forty-five percent (of CPB's appropriation) would be 
used by the Corporation to promote the production of 
programs for national, local, regional, or special au- 
dience distribution." (S.2279, 3/17/81) 

CPB needs adequate funding to support such national, local, 
regional and special audience programming. Local stations 
are unable to afford productions of comparable thematic or 
financial dimension. While we take issue with the heavy 
overall reduction in CPB's budget called for by S.720, we sup- 
port the reaffirmation of the importance of nationally- 
produced programming. 

Independents have an important role in the production of na- 
tional programming. In the 1978 Act, Congress recognized the 
important contribution independents can make to public 
television in innovative and creative new programming, and 
directed that CPB reserve a substantial amount of its national 
program funds for independent production. This requirement 
has been honored in the breach by CPB, with the Corporation 
reserving the lion's share of its program fund for big-budget 
series and station-related productions. Yet independent pro- 
ducers can provide a wide range of cost-effective program- 
ming. They work quickly and efficiently in local situations. 
Their energy and diversity can enrich and augment standard 
television fare. 15 

To ensure that public funds are used to the public's greatest 
benefit, S.720 should specify that no less than half of all CPB 
program funds, national and local, be used for the production 
of programming by independents. 

AIVF Supports Increased Funds and Incentives For the 
Production of Local Programming 

Local public television stations should be dedicated to the 
production and acquisition of local public television pro- 
grams. Unfortunately, the CPB Research and Programming 
Service study, "Summary Statistical Report of Public Tele- 
vision Licensees — July 1980", revealed an appalling 
decrease in local programming. Programs produced locally ac- 
counted for 376 hours, a scant 7.2% of air-time — and a 
decrease of 83 hours, or 18%, from 1976. For example, at 
WNET (New York), there is one half-hour of regular local 
public affairs daily, New Jersey Nightly News, and a short "rip 
and read" program at midnight. Many award-winning locally- 
produced programs, like 51st State and Realidades, have been 

The existing structure of unrestricted grants to stations has 
failed to produce vibrant local program schedules. As described 
by Senator goldwater: "Most of the Federal dollars that go to 
stations directly ... in unrestricted grants are used to cover 
general and administrative costs of operations." (S.2279) 

Moreover, the current station funding system has failed to en- 
courage stations to utilize independent producers. A CPB 
study, "The Utilization of Independent Producers Among 
Public Television Licensees, Fiscal Year 1979," suggests that 
as few as 39% of public television stations use independent 
producers. (Sixty-five percent of those stations used indepen- 
dent material 10 hours or less, 12.5% for 10-19 hours, and 
21.9% used 20 hours or more.) Of the stations not using in- 
dependents, only 23% of the 117 responding to the study 
reported plans for future use. 

To remedy the failings of the unrestricted grant system, S.720 
limits CPB's station support to 50% of its annual budget, with 
the further import directive that those funds be used "for pur- 
poses related exclusively to the production or acquisition of 
public audio or video programs." (§396(k) (7)). AIVF supports 
this limitation. However, by speaking of purposes "related" to 
program production, the bill opens a loophole big enough to 
walk through. Stations have traditionally given the term 
"production-related" its most sweeping meaning, covering 
everything from fundraising marathons to the carpeting in the 
program director's office. If the Subcommittee truly intends to 
limit CPB's funds to program production, it must clarify that 
the use of such funds shall be limited to direct production 
costs, not production-related expenses. 

Further, grants to stations should be designed to reward sta- 
tions for the production of local programming. S.720 omits 
any such mechanism, leaving criteria and conditions for the 
distribution of funds to be worked out by CPB "in consulta- 
tion with public television and radio licensees" (§396(k) (A)). 
Distribution of funds should be conditioned, by statute, upon 
some quantifiable measure of the production and acquisition 
of original, local programming, such as the number of hours 
of such programming produced in a given year. 

Finally, S.720's elimination of the matching formula for sta- 
tion funding is commendable as it will more equitably 
distribute Federal funds to smaller public television stations. 
In the past, such stations have been at a disadvantage 
because of their smaller market shares and their inability to 


attract major underwriters. Capping station grants at $1 
million will benefit the more needy stations, and strengthen 
the production of regional programming. 

Public Money Should Not be Used as Venture Capital 
By Public Television Stations 

AIVF agrees that CPB funds should not be used by the sta- 
tions as venture capital. Accordingly, we support the pro- 
vision of S.720 requiring that a station's CPB funding be re- 
duced by the amount of any income earned through activities 
unrelated to the station's public purpose: the production of 
public television programming. 

The cost of the Public Satellite Interconnection Service 
Should be Borne by the Public Broadcasting Service 

S.720 proposes the elimination of CPB support for satellite 
interconnection. The system is currently funded by CPB at 
about $11 million, representing 50% of the cost of the inter- 
connection. The bill is silent on who will bear the cost of the 
interconnection after the CPB funding stops. 

The interconnection system was created with public funds. Its 
operation must continue to primarily benefit the public, pro- 
viding satellite distribution access to the range of small and 
large independent producers and public television entities 
that produce public television programs. If CPB support of the 
interconnection is to be eliminated, the Senate Bill must make 
clear that satellite distribution and operating costs must be 
borne by the public broadcaster, not the program producers. 
Allowing PBS to pass along the cost of satellite distribution to 
program producers will place an obstacle in front of pro- 
ducers, frustrating the purpose of S.720: to foster the produc- 
tion of public audio and video programming. Producers do not 
pay for non-satellite distribution by PBS. They should not be 
made to subsidize PBS's costs for satellite interconnection. 
Other Provisions 

AIVF strongly opposes S.720's reduction of the CPB Board 
from 15 to 7 members. While economy is desirable, minor sav- 
ings must not be made at the expense of the diversity of view- 
points currently represented on the CPB Board. Public tele- 
vision policy must be made by representatives of the 
American public, from as broad a sample as possible. 

AIVF also opposes the elimination of the requirement of the 
use of advisory panels and boards at the national and local 
level. At the national level, peer panels were designed to pre- 
vent arbitrariness in programming decisions. These panels 
bring a multiplicity of perspectives to programmers and 
should be viewed as a constructive and accountable 
mechanism to ensure that quality and innovation are the 
cornerstones of programming decisions. At the local level, 
community advisory boards were designed to prevent the in- 
sulation of local stations from the communities that support 
them, both purposes remain compelling today, far out- 
weighing whatever savings could result from the elimination 
of these advisory structures. AIVF supports the strengthening 
of these structures, in order to make them truly effective! 

In sum, AIVF supports S.720's emphasis on programming, but 
urges the Subcommittee to make explicit the important role of 
independent producers in the production of such public tele- 
vision programming. We thank the Subcommittee for this op- 
portunity to express our support for public broadcasting, and 
to offer our views on the shape that public television should 
take in the future. 


FOR SALE: 4-Gang 35mm syn- 
chronizer with counter. Manufac- 
tured by Moviola. $150. Perfect 
working order. Call: Steven Jones, 
(212) 928-2407. 

FOR RENT: 7.5' X 10' rear projec- 
tion screens. Full selection of 
multimedia presentational equip- 
ment. Consulting for solving your 
multimedia presentation problems. 
The Klatu Project Limited, (212) 

FOR SALE: Sony AV 3400 portapak 
deck with AC box and RF unit. Ex- 
cellent condition. $300. Call: Jeff, 

FOR SALE: Canon zoom lens, 
18-108mm, fast 1.6 aperture. Ideal 
for Sony 1610 or Sony 1600 
cameras. Immaculate condition. 
Originally $900, asking $500. Call 

PACKAGE. 2 16mm Beaulieu's, 200' 
mags, 2 sync generators, mics, 
quartz lights, stands, pro tripod and 
legs, flatbed-type editing console. 
Many extras. Must be seen! Will sell 
as complete package for $7500. Call 
and leave message, (212) 823-0448. 

FOR SALE: Magnetic recording 
stock 16mm. Sealed cases. 3M 
stock 341 SP polyester. $20/1200' 
roll. Call: Steven Jones, (212) 

WANTED TO BUY: Steenbeck 16mm 
or 8-plate machines. The Klatu Proj- 
ect Limited, (212) 928-2407. 

FOR SALE: Nagra III, Motorola 
Walkie Talkies. Call: (212) 486-9020. 

FOR SALE: Mag sound reader head 
for Moviola or Hollywood film syn- 
chronizer: $20. Sony/GE Vz" BW 
Pre-EIAJ vtr, 10 hours of use, very 
clean, $125. Contact: The Film 
Group, Box 9, Wethersfield CT 
06109, (212) 563-2574. 

SYNAPSE has openings for post- 
production. Special summer offer of 
$40/hour until August. Price in- 
cludes 1 engineer, 1 CMX operator, 
full use of facility and enough 2" 
quad tape to complete piece. For 
more info, contact: Jonathan 
Schaer, SVC, 103 College PL, 
Syracuse NY 13210, (315) 423-3100. 

TRADE OR SALE: 19" rack cabinet 
— lock, doors, handle and panels; 
Shure M-68 Mixer; Shure A 62 rack 
panel mounting kit, Sharp XEG 300 
color effects generator; 2 Sharp 
Century XC-2000 color video 
cameras with 6:1 zoom lens, color 
balance, intercom channel and 
other features. Still under warranty. 
Panasonic black & white reel-to-reel 
remote control portapack video 
system; Panasonic NV/WV with A/C 
& battery pack; Panasonic WV 341 
EN camera ensemble; Wollensac 
2551 cassette recorder; JVC CR 
6060 U % " videotape deck. Contact: 
John Kalfat, (201) 625-6394 or Bruce 
Miller, (201) 625-6398. 

FOR SALE: JVC 4400 %" portable 
VCR with AC power pack. Slightly 
used, $1995. (415) 472-0489. 

FOR SALE: Sony 2860, $3495; Sony 
RM 430, $995; Universal 808 fluid 
head tripod, $395. Also used Vz" 
reels. Contact: Video Arts, (415) 

FOR SALE: Moviola M-50 viewer, 
new condition. Best offer over $350. 
Call: Carol Ritter, Days. (212) 


INSTITUTE offers several work- 
shops through May and June on 
directing for TV, cable, on-air pro- 
motion and management. Contact: 
PTI, NAEB, 1346 Connecticut Ave. 
NW, Washington DC 20036, (202) 

SUMMER INSTITUTE offers varied 
selection of one- and two-week 
workshops and seminars on 
photography and other modes of 
visual communication. For com- 
plete catalogue, contact: Linn 
Underhill, VSW, 31 Prince St., 
Rochester NY 14607, (716) 442-8676. 

WOMEN IN MEDIA lecture series, 
Thursdays in May and June. Topics 
include: woman in media, the pro- 
duction manager, the production 
designer, film and television, the 

film editor, the cinematographer, 
and the stuntwoman. For more info: 
Astoria Motion Picture and Tele- 
vision Center, 34-31 35th St., Astoria 
NY 11106, (212) 784-4520. 

summer workshops in video art, for 
credit at Colorado Mountain Junior 
College. For info: RML Appren- 
ticeships, CMC, Box 2540, Aspen 
CO 81612. 

BRIGARD will teach a summer 
workshop in anthropological film at 
Harvard. For more info: Harvard 
Summer School, 20 Garden St., 
Cambridge MA 02138, (617) 495-2921 
or write Emilie de Brigard, Film 
Research, Higganum, CT 06441, 
(203) 345-2338. 


FOR RENT: 6-plate 16mm 
Steenbeck, with complete editing 
facilities (including editing room). 
Also sound transfers available. Call: 
(212) 486-9020. 

FOR RENT: editing & post- 
production facilities available. 
Fully-equipped rooms, 24-hour ac- 
cess in security building. Two 
6-plate Steenbecks, one 16/35 KEM, 
sound transfers from Vi " to 16mm 
& 35mm mag, narration recording, 
extensive sound effects library, 
interlock screening room. Contact: 
Cinetudes Film Productions, Ltd., 
295 West 4 St., New York NY 10014, 
(212) 966-4600. 

FOR RENT: 2-picture 16/35 KEM in 
fully-equipped editing room near 
11th St. and Broadway. Contact: 
Charles Light, (212) 473-8043 or 
Jacki, (212) 925-7995. 

beck, rewinds and table, spliers, 8 
split reels, synchronizer, Moviscop, 
air conditioners, typewriter, desk, 
phone, rug, shelves and rack. Rates: 
$40/day; $175/wk; $625/mo. Monthly 
rate negotiable. Call: Kit Clarke, 
1697 Broadway, New York NY 
10019, (212) 866-4590. 



FESTIVAL, June 26 and 27, is seek- 
ing entries of 16mm films about run- 
ning. Contact: Dennis Bromka, (503) 

VIDEO SHORTS, July 24-26, is open 
to all entries up to five minutes in 
length. Deadline: July 11. For more 
info: VS, High Hopes Media, PO Box 
20069, Broadway Station, Seattle 
WA 98102, (206) 322-9010. 

VIDEO FESTIVAL, June 18-21, open 
to works produced and directed by 
Latinos(as) in US and Puerto Rico. 
Contact: Lillian Jimenez, El Museo 
del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave., New 
York NY 10029, (212) 831-7272. 

COMPETITION, July 1-5. Deadline: 
May 29. For more info: Marin Coun- 
ty Fair and Exposition, Fairgrounds, 
San Rafael CA 94903. 


ALTERNATIVE is providing a forum 
for film lovers and filmmakers out- 
side the Hollywood mainstream. 
Young directors and first-time film- 
makers are especially encouraged 
to submit their work. For info: NM, 
2523 Wild Oak Dr., Hollywood CA 
90068, (213) 464-8240. 

CIE/MEDIA CENTRAL is looking for 
poetry movies: movies about poets 
and movies that are like poetry. 
Contact: CIE, 628 Grand Ave., # 307, 
St. Paul MN 55105, (612) 222-2096. 

GARY CROWDUS, formerly Promo- 
tional Director for Tricontinental 
Film Center/Unifilm, is the new 
Director of Marketing and Acquisi- 
tions for Document Associates, a 
film distribution company specializ- 
ing in educational films for the 
secondary school through college 
market. AIVF members with short, 
medium-length, or feature-length 

films available for non-theatrical 
distribution should contact 
Crowdus, Document Associates, 
211 East 43 St., New York NY 10017, 
(212) 682-0730. 

ing for videotapes about performing 
artists for a new cable show. Pay- 
ment for all works used. Contact: 
Susan Whittenberg, One Media 
Crossways, Woodbury NY 11797. 

VIDEOWEST, the alternative TV 
show appearing on up to three sta- 
tions simultaneously (9, 20, 26), is 
seeking material from independent 
producers. They cannot afford to 
pay for the programs, but they do 
offer a showcase for new work that 
will be seen by a sizable audience. 
Contact: Fabrice Florin, (415) 

group of independents with one 
completed production on Channel 
25, are soliciting teleplays and one- 
act plays for cable TV. Contact: 
Alice (415) 841-4270. 

OFF THE WALL is interested in 
finding films for developing new 
packages to screen in their 75-seat 
theatre in Cambridge. For more 
info, contact: Diana St. Onge, OTW, 
15 Pearl ST., Cambridge MA 02139, 
(617) 547-5255. 

independent film and videomakers. 
Specializes in films for the health 
care profession, but short films and 
tapes for all markets welcome. Of- 
fers alternatives to traditional 
distribution arrangements. For 
more info, contact: Arthur Hoyle, 
Pelican Films, 3010 Santa Monica 
Blvd., Suite 440, Santa Monica CA 
90404, (213) 828-4303. 

MAKERS: Barnard College audio- 
visual department is looking for in- 
teresting film/video works by 
women for a fall festival. If you have 
any works they can preview, call: 
(212) 280-2418. 

interested in acquiring short erotic 
films in live action or animation, 
preferably 20 minutes or less, for in- 
clusion in 16mm package for distri- 
bution to universities and art film 
houses. Films may be humorous, 
narrative or non-narrative in form 
but content must be non-violent and 
non-exploitive. Send films for 
preview to SBC, 1145 Mandana 
Blvd., Oakland CA 94610. 

seeks films, videotapes and slide- 
shows which relate to community 
life, issues and concerns. Send 
descriptions (not the work itself) to: 
CMP, 208 West 13 St., New York NY 
10011, (212)620-0877. 

TARIES (film or tape) to air as part 
of its national fall schedule. Con- 
tact: Gail Christian, Director of 
News. (202) 488-5045. 


specialized environmental, projec- 
tion, or audio requirements: it is 
within our capabilities to offer 
precise conditions to your specifi- 
cations. Consultation, call: The 
Klatu Project Ltd., (212) 928-2407. 

$14,000 grant from the New York 
State Council on the Arts to provide 
administrative and program support 
for ICAP's Programming and Dis- 
tribution Information Service. For 
info: ICAP, 625 Broadway, New York 
NY 10012, (212) 533-9180. 

ARTISTS PROGRAM. Video artists 
available for residencies, installa- 
tions, exhibitions etc., include: Skip 
Blumberg, Peer Bode, Ronald D. 
Clark, Shalom Gorewitz, Julie 
Harrison, Neil Zusman, Deans 
Keppel, Verity Lund, Henry Moore, 
Antonio Muntadas, Rita Myers, 
David H. Rose and Joseph Stein- 
metz. Contact: Mary Wallach, CAPS, 
Community Service Program, (212) 



DINATOR. GM responsible for 
overall conduct of station affairs; 
TC responsible for organizing/run- 
ning training program in video pro- 
duction for volunteers. For more 
info: Robert Bows, KBDI-TV, Box 
427, Broomfield CO 80020. 

APPALSHOP has immediate open- 
ing in position of president, to 
begin July 1st. Please contact: 
Martin Newell, Search Committee, 
Appalshop, 118 Main St., Box 743, 
Whitesburg KY 41858, (606) 

with own equipment available for 
sound work. Call: (212) 486-9020. 

PRODUCED WANTED for 60-minute 
videotape on nuclear fission 
wastes. Apply by June 15. Contact: 
Donald Scherer, Philosophy Dept., 
Bowling Green State University, 
Bowling Green OH 43403, (419) 


air conditioned, midtown Manhattan 
office suite. Available immediately, 
reasonable rent. Contact: Penny 
Burnstein, (212) 921-7020. 

film and video. Experienced com- 
poser. Rates fair. Call: (212) 

black and white, negative or rever- 
sal, quick, clean. Way below com- 
mercial rates. Call: Pola Rapaport, 
(212) 620-0029. 

University of Alabama offers sup- 
port services for field research and 
media documentation of minority 
cultures. Contact: B. McCallum, 
Dir., AAMC, PO 1391, University of 
Alabama, Tuscaloosa AL 35486, 
(205) 348-5782. 


newsletter for scriptwriters, pub- 
lished its first issue in January 
1981. They're looking for sub- 
scribers. Write: PO Box 2410, Glen 
Ellvn IL 60137. 

Steenbeck repair. Call: Paul (212) 

WANTED: Reviews by women of 
films by women. Contact: Women 
Make Movies Newsletter, 257 West 
19 St., New York NY 10011, (212) 

East, Foundation, Inc. has announc- 
ed screen and television writer 
fellowships of $3,500 each. For info: 
WGA, 555 West 57 St., 12th Floor, 
New York NY 10019. 

Film Bureau Program offers finan- 
cial assistance for film rentals and 
speakers' fees to non-profit com- 
munity organizations. Priority will 
be given to groups showing works 
by independent filmmakers and/or 
films that would not ordinarily be 
available to the community. For 
info: YF/VA, 4 Rivington St., New 
York NY 10002, (212) 673-9361. 

fers the following publications: 
Copyright Primer for Film & Video, 
Financing the Low-Budget Indepen- 
dent Feature Film, Printed Matter 
(NMP's newsletter), Film Program 
Catalog (sel. Northwest films). 
NMP, PO Box 4093, Portland OR 
97208, (503) 223-5335. 

Jennifer Stearns is available from 
CTS, 105 Madison Ave., New York 
NY 10016, (212) 683-3834. 

publishes a quarterly newsletter, 
Young Viewers. Subscriptions are 
$15 per year. Contact: MCFC, 3 
West 29 St., New York NY 10001. 

FILM? Veteran composer of 2 Off- 
Off Broadway productions and 2 
films seeks filmmaker for collabora- 
tion. Incidental music, songs and 
adaptations. Call: Steve Lockwood 
after 6 pm, (212) 666-8817. 

MAKING IT: The Artist in America is 

the title of a radio project now 
beginning production. The producer 
wishes to speak with artists of all 
disciplines and levels of 
accomplishment. For more informa- 
tion, contact: Jay Allison, Box 436, 
Spillway Road, West Hurley NY 
12491, (914) 338-7396. 

AIVF Forum 

As independent video and filmmakers, we are entering 
a difficult and challenging period. Many of the tradi- 
tional funding sources for independent work are rapidly 
shrinking, while the costs of production continue to 

Independents are being confronted by many difficult 
questions of policy and practice, upon which their abili- 
ty to survive as independents depends. 

Now, more than ever, we must join together for mutual 
support and assistance. At the same time, however, we 
must be prepared to test the policies and directions of 
the AIVF through vigorous and honest debate. 

With this in mind, The Independent has dedicated 
this section to the presentation and discussion of 
questions of policy within AIVF and within the indepen- 
dent community as a whole. 

Members are invited to submit their views and 
responses to the Editor of The Independent. 

510 W. Clark 
Champaign, IL 61820 
30 March 1981 
217 -356-3192 

Dear Membership committee: 

I have a suggestion that might increase membership 
participation in the Association. Why not form 
regional offices and hold regional meetings, instead 
of meeting only in New York!!!! I'd like to know what 
AIVF members live in my town — Champaign, Illinois 
— or my area — Chicago. I would be glad to help 
organize a midwest branch of AIVF. How about it? 

Just a suggestion. 


Joyce T. Z. Harris 


Here presented are the founding principles ol the AIVF, followed by new resolutions that were approved by vote last April ot the entire membership, at the same time the 
Board ot Directors were elected. 

Since the addition ol any new resolutions constitutes a bylaw change, the consent ol the membership was required. 


Be it resolved, that the following five principles be adopted as the Principles of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. 


1. The Association is a service organization of and for independent video and 

2. The Association encourages excellence, committment, and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and filmmaking is more than just a job — that it 
goes beyond economics to involve the expression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through the combined effort of the membership, to 
provide practical, informational, and moral support for independent video and film- 
makers and is dedicated to insuring the survival and providing support for the con- 
tinuing growth of independent video and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its support to one genre, ideology, or 
aesthetic, but furthers diversity of vision in artistic and social consciousness. 

5. The Association champions independent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is determined, by mutual action, to open pathways 
toward exhibition ot this work to the community at large 

The AIVF resolves: 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in fostering cooperation, community, 
justice in human relationships and respect of age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the freedom of expression of the independent film 
and video maker, as spelled out in the AIVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue and heightened awareness among the 
membership of the social, artistic, and personal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, via such mechanisms as screenings and 

4. To continue to work to strengthen AlVF's services to independents, in order 
to help reduce the membership's dependence on the kinds of sponsorship which 
encourages the compromise of personal values. 

The Advisory Panel for Round II of CPB's Crisis to 
Crisis reached "a consensus that none of the proposals 
submitted met their standards," according to a letter 
sent to applicants by Lewis Freedman, Director of the 
CPB Program Fund. 

AIVF is very concerned that the integrity of the Program 
Fund be protected, particularly in terms of the commit- 
ment for funding independent productions. The intent 
of Congress was to guarantee a significant portion of 
the Program Fund for independent productions. This 
decision, however, appears to jeopardize the mandate. 

Knowing some of the finalists and their submissions, 

we cannot understand the position taken by the Ad- 
visory Panel. 

We want to hear from any readers who submitted pro- 
posals to Round II of the Crisis to Crisis series. On a 
page or less please send us a summary description of 
your proposal, any comments you received from the 
Program Fund, and other relevant information. Send 
this as quickly as possible to AIVF, 625 Broadway, New 
York NY 10012. 

We need documentation for the presentation we hope 
to make to the CPB Board of Directors and Congress. 
This information is vital for these actions. 

Complete Crystal Controlled Systems 

Arri BL/Nagra 4.2 Package CP16R/Nagra III Package 

includes: 10-100 Zeiss zoom, two mags, two battery 

belts, Sachtler tripod, changing bag and 

recorder with headset and ATN 


includes: 12-120 zoom, handgrip, orientable viewfinder, 
two mags, two batteries, two chargers, NCE tripod, 
changing bag and recorder with headset and ATN 


Full range of 16mm/S8mm and Video 

Production and Postproduction Services available 

Ask about Summer Specials 

Call 673-9361 

Young Film akers/ Video Arts 

4 Rivington Street 
New York City 10002 

Bring this ad to YF/VA and receive a free copy of the Equipment Loan Handbook 


_ ,»,. 



295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 




16mm &35mm 










• Cuts Delivery Time Dramatically 

• Eliminates Hunting for Missing Originals 

Reduces Human Error 

18 West 45th Street 

Suite 61 OA 
New York, N.Y. 10036 





Just what does the independent producer 
want from a motion picture laboratory? 


"Good quality prints Easy access An 

expert film consultant a highly skilled 

timer And. , . .Personal attention. . ." 

-Eliot Noyes, Jr.- 


nest 49th Street 
New York, N.Y, 10019 

Phone Bill Pomerance or Tony Romano 212-247-4770 









dri n 


220 W. 49 ST. 





Help the grassroots grow. 

Community groups in New York 
City are looking for films, 
videotapes and slideshows that 
relate to local issues and con- 
cerns. Some will be purchased. 
We're especially interested in 
works made for or about com- 
munity groups in other cities. 

Send descriptions of media you 
think we could use to: 

Community Media Project 

208 West 13th Street, 

New York, NY 10011 

(212) 620-0877 





The best, most up-to-date, 
general introduction to 
cable available today. 

32 pp. $2 per copy. 

Postage & handling included. 

Order from: 

Church Leadership Resources 

P.O. Box 179 

St. Louis, MO 63166 


Reg. $80. Now Only $49. 

includes: complete check-up - sound optics aligned 
belts checked - clean and lube - all minor 


45 W 38 St. New York City 10018(212) 921-5880 

specializing in quality repairs - all inquiries welcome 

□ Access to portable Video equipment 

□ Low-cost equipment loans for 
noncommercial productions 

□ Basic equipment/ENG workshops 
Every Wednesday evening — 3 hrs. $25.00 

□ Specializing in location production 

Call 212-757-4220 

Specializing in 
ibecks and Kern, all models 
New York's best prices 
at your place or ours. 
630 9th Ave., NX, NX. 10036 













CO o 

~ o 

CD ^ 

W O 




*- o 

CD (j 

-C c 
■— CD 

3 O 

O — 







tr o 

$ ~ 

o c 

> 2 


■C -D 

2 S 

o 2 

c = 

^ 1 <-' 

°- o - 

tn O O 

.22 CD P 

Q- P O 

£ > CJ 

« H i2 

CD CD 7= 

c <D c 

E «j£ 

* c * 

- o 2 

Q-' E ^ 

-£ > o 

S-l * 

■^ O) CD 

w .2 o 

2 CD — 

. CD -o 

>^ W CD 

"O ^- CO 

CD O 3 

CD r- 

i= — .<9 

ro "O . . 

*- CD LU 

'7 -> — i 

CD o — 

*- CD -J 

r- w — 

o ° * 

"O £ CO 


- CL 


E ro 


U> 52 CD 

d i HSd3a W3 w 




o o 

"D *-" 
Q) O 


£ >; 


03 CO 

^ 2 
















-< X 


O m 



D m 

m 2 




5 m 


co Q 








X z 


"0 m 



m —1 


Z m 









O "o 

O m 



O O 




> 3D 


^ P 


> m 






> -c 


= T 


03 == 

1- ^ 




m m 

rn _ 

co z 

H o 


» o' 

CO =» 

o _. 


= 3 

O 3 

1 03 0) 

a » 3 

•"'CQ CD 















□ □□□□□□□ 

















CD - 












i S' I 

o o 









— ,• 




























«* cu 

° <? 













CD - 































o i2. 

co ~ Xi 

D D 

a d a a a a 























































2.3 $ 

o 2 « 

0> CD * 

® O E. 

C CD Q. 

■3 I 

w _ 

CD Jf 




S c 

co -O 

°- o 

•» Q. 
0) 0) 

S ® 

o 3 

o a> 

3 S- 


n" O 

• i 

o • 

2 ? 
» - 

o o 

2 CD 


O* CD 




ro _ 






% 1 

cy) . 

3 ^ 


^ ■< 


"D 3J 




"^ z 

> -1 

9 ^ 

as -< 
co • 

m J) 

■ ■ 


vol 4 no4 


I Independent 

VOL 4 NO. 4 

THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the Foun- 
dation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 625 Broadway, 
9th Floor, NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, A federal agency. Subscription is included in member- 
ship to the organization. 

Editor: Bill Jones 
Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 
Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 

Dee Dee Halleck 
Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

John Rice 

Barbara Turrill 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; 
Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Alan Mitosky, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Louise Zimmerman, Short 
Film Showcase Administrative Assistant; John Rice, Media 
Awareness Project Director; Barbara Turrill. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 


c/o Bill Jones, "Independent" Editor 

625 Broadway, Ninth Floor 

New York, NY 10012 

Dear Mr. Jones: 

We finally have received a copy of the April issue, 
and I thank you for the attractive spread. 

I have to report two inaccuracies. The Video 80 
budget was miniscule for so ambitious an 
undertaking but not the microscopie figure which 
appears in my copy. I dropped a cipher, and the true 
amount should read $23,000. Also, the event's 
director Stephen Agetstein amends that an entry free 
of $10 was charged. 

Sorry to inconvenience you with this correction, but 
I think it will allay some confusion about the event's 

Also, thank you for including the notice about the 
Film & Video issue of our publications, "The 
Working Arts." The Spring issue is on the press and 
includes a lengthy primer on music clearances for 
live, filmed or otherwise recorded performances. I 
will send a press notice about it when it's off the 

Very best regards, 

Paul Kleyman 
Publications Director 


DAVID AND THE DINOSAUR by Peter Belsito 4 


Interviewed by Eric Brietbart 


Cold Feet at the Program Fund 

by Lawrence Sapadin 




by Marian Luntz 

MEDIA CLIPS by John Rice J7 

Cover: BRONX BAPTISM by Dee Dee Halleck. 

The Independent relies on its member contributers for 
their exceptional work in making the Independent a 
valuable source for video and filmmakers. If you have 
newsworthy items or interviews or articles and would 
like them to appear in the Independent please send 
them to The Independent, FIVF, 625 Broadway, New 
York, N.Y. 10012. 

The Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 

625 Broadway 

9th Floor 

New York, NY 10012 

The letter is in reference to our telephone 

conversation per Friday, May 8, 1981, pertaining to 

the article which appeared in Vol. 4, No. 2 of The 

Independent, page 19. 

The National Black Programming Consortium, Inc. 
was formed to serve as a center for the collection and 
distribution of quality Black programming. The 
Consortium distributes programs to its members, 
which includes approximately fifty public television 
stations, organizations and institutions, via satellite 
and a bicycling system. 

Frank Rhodes is no longer in the NBPC's employ and 
has not been since December 1980. Requests for ■ 
information should be sent directly to the NBPC. 

We would appreciate a retraction and correction in a 
subsequent issue of The Independent as soon as 
possible. For your information, I have enclosed a 
NBPC brochure. 

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this 


Chetuan L. Shaffer 
Services Coordinator 

AIVF Forum 

As independent video and filmmakers, we are entering 
a difficult and challenging period. Many of the tradi- 
tional funding sources for independent work are rapidly 
shrinking, while the costs of production continue to 

Independents are being confronted by many difficult 
questions of policy and practice, upon which their abili- 
ty to survive as independents depends. 

Now, more than ever, we must join together for mutual 
support and assistance. At the same time, however, we 
must be prepared to test the policies and directions of 
the AIVF through vigorous and honest debate. 

With this in mind, The Independent has dedicated 
this section to the presentation and discussion of 
questions of policy within AIVF and within the indepen- 
dent community as a whole. 

Members are invited to submit their views and 
responses to the Editor of The Independent. 


Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 

625 Broadway 

New York, New York 10012 

Dear Editor: 

The newsletter "Independent" is a valuable source of 
information, and having produced them myself, I am aware 
of the time consuming work that has to be done to get 
them out. However, I wanted to share with you my feelings 
about information and articles that reflect timely 
information. I noticed that articles had dates too late to 
respond to which had already passed or not enough lead 
time, etc. . . .1 hope this can eventually be corrected. 


Chris Spotted Eagle 


Here presented are the founding principles of the AIVF, followed by new resolutions thai were approved by vote last April of the entire membership, at the same time the 
Board of Directors were elected. 

Since the addition of any new resolutions constitutes a bylaw change, the consent of the membership was required. 


Be it resolved, that the following five principles be adopted as 'he Principles of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. 


1. The Association is a service organization of and for independent video and 

2. The Association encourages excellence, committment, and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and filmmaking is more than just a job — that it 
goes beyond economics to involve the expression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through the combined effort of the membership, to 
provide practical, informational, and moral support for independent video and film- 
makers and is dedicated to insuring the survival and providing support for the con- 
tinuing growth of independent video and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its support to one genre, ideology, or 
aesthetic, but furthers diversity of vision in artistic and social consciousness. 

5 The Association champions independent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is determined, by mutual action, to open pathways 
toward exhibition of this work to the community at large. 

The AIVF resolves: 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in fostering cooperation, community, 
justice in human relationships and respect of age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the freedom of expression of the independent film 
and video maker, as spelled out in the AIVF principles. 

3 To promote constructive dialogue and heightened awareness among the 
membership of the social, artistic, and personal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, via such mechanisms as screenings and 

4. To continue to work to strengthen AlVF's services to independents, in order 
to help reduce the membership's dependence on the kinds of sponsorship which 
encourages the compromise of personal values 


The AIVF/FIVF Board met on May 5, 1981. Reports wee given 
on the following: 

Public Television — On March 29, 1981, AIVF testified on 
pending PTV legislation before the House Subcommittee on 
Telecommunications. The legislative trend is toward in- 
creased commercialization. The Board debated whether to op- 
pose a bill which permitted institutional ads or logos. 

Independents are incensed about the Program Fund's failure 
to fund any productions for Crisis to Crisis Round II. AIVF will 
present its case to the CPB Board, and work with a Board 
committee currently reviewing Program Fund policy. 

A search committee is looking for someone to replace Robben 
Flemming as CPB President. Independents should suggest 


NEA/NEH budget cuts — AIVF held a press conference on 
May 7, 1981, bringing together over 70 arts organizations to 
protest the proposed cuts in the NEA and NEH. 

Marc Weiss reported that the Ad Hoc Committee Against U.S. 
Involvement in El Salvador broke even on its activities for the 
May 3 Washington DC demonstration. 

New business: AIVF membership list will be made available to 
commercial groups on a case-by-case basis. 

Dee Dee Halleck suggested that Congressman James 
Scheuer be invited to AIVF to discuss PTV legislation. 

THE INDEPENDENT will be evaluated at the next Board 

David and the Dinosaur 

by Peter Belsito 

On April 4, 1981 the Independent Feature Project came 
to Los Angeles with a bang, at an all-day conference/ 
seminar entitled New American Cinema: A How-to for 
Independent Feature Filmmakers, the Hollywood 
Roosevelt Hotel's auditorium was packed with over 400 
independents who had paid $25 apiece, while hundreds 
more had to be turned away. A series of five panels 
dealt primarily with the business aspects of indepen- 
dent feature filmmaking: financing, festivals, selling a 
film theatrically and to television, and "The Indepen- 
dent and the Industru." The success of the seminar in- 
dicates that independent feature filmmaking — both 
documentary and theatrical — is an artistic and com- 
mercial force to be reckoned with in the struggle for a 
share of the film marketplace. 

There was unanimous agreement among panelists and 
participants that the current crisis in the film 
"industry" (loosely defined as the major studios, the 
"mini-majors" and the giant independent companies), 
reflected by declining product quality, audiences and 
profits, has created an unprecedented opportunity for 
the "true independent." Along with the Alternative 
Cinema Conference at Bard College and Independent 
Feature Project activities in New York City, the Los 
Angeles meeting represents a marshalling of forces of 
those filmmakers who wish to retain political, artistic 
and financial control of their films, as opposed to the 
traditional route of selling control to the studios or net- 
works. The implications of this movement for the future 
of U.S. filmmaking is promising and radical. 

The general consensus at the Conference was that the 
industry as it has existed for the last sixty years is 
dying. The metaphor universally applied by industry 
reps and independents alike was "dinosaur". The inde- 
pendents, with their visions of lower budgets, fresh 
material and untapped markets, were touted as the 
wave of the future. But despite protestations of in- 
dustry support and solidarity, most independents with- 
held judgment to see if any action followed to match 
the brave words. 

Though the tone of the meeting was distinctly 
business-oriented and un-ideological, for those whose 
chose to read between the lines, the political impli- 
cations of the independent movement for American 
cinema were obvious. One interesting prospect ad- 
vanced by the industry reps was that independents 
would be able to develop vast audiences for their films 
if they would use proven commercial skills, such as 
promotion and marketing techniques. Jeff Dowd, a pro- 


moter and distributor who has masterminded cam- 
paigns for The Stunt Man, Northern Lights and Hearts 
and Minds, had this to say: "I come out of a political 
organizing past in the Sixties. I was involved in the civil 
rights and antiwar movements, and I translated that ex- 
perience into grassroots organizing on behalf of 
films. . . I had to communicate with bishops of the local 
Catholic Church diocese. . .with senators. . .with peo- 
ple who wanted to be Marines, whatever, and tell them 
why the war was bad. We had to learn ways of making 
what we were saying accessible to "the masses". And I 
think you've got to do that too with an independent 
film." Along these lines Larry Jackson, a former in- 
dependent filmmaker and presently the Director of Ac- 
quisitions and Marketing for Samuel Goldwyn Studios, 
said, "You'll find that a lot of us out there have the 
same goals for your films that you do: to see your state- 
ment made to the largest number of people, instead of 
just being bishops preaching to the converted. We want 
to take your statement into the lives of people not 
preordained to agree with you and show a new aspect 
of thinking, a different light on a familiar or unfamiliar 
subject that will change the lives and the thought pro- 
cesses of people who see your film, and maybe change 
the filmmaking world that we're living in and the socie- 
ty that we're living in." 

The meeting generated a high level of enthusiasm for 
the future of independent filmmaking. It provided for 
the first time a focus for the huge, disorganized com- 
munity of independents in L.A., as well as a note of 
hope for the many talented people who have long 
languished within the confines of the industry. Along 
with the establishment of an officer in the city of 
Holywood, for the Independent Feature Project/Los 
Angeles, the local committee is planning another large- 
scale conference in a few months, to deal exclusively 
with the financing of independent feature film produc- 

The April 4 Conference was planned by filmmakers 
Anna Thomas, Gregory Nava, David Morris, Pierre 
Sauvage, Caroline Mouris, Lan Brookes Ritz, Steve 
Wax, Christopher Leitch, Bastian Cleve and Humberto 
Rivera. Some of the panelists were Claire Townsend, 
VP Production, 20th Century-Fox; agent Harry Ufland; 
Sterling Van Wagenen, Director of Robert Redford's 
Sundance Institute; Linda Miles, Director, Pacific Film 
Archives; Cathy Wyler, NEA; Jonathan Sanger, Pro- 
ducer, The Elephant Man; and Kevin Thomas, film critic, 
L.A. Times. 

Chris Dal I and 
Randal I Conrad 

THE DOZENS Chris Dall and Randall Conrad 



EB: Could you tell me something about your film- 
making backgrounds? 

CD: I started out doing films for children's television, 
and documentaries on professional women's work. I've 
done editing and other freelance work. This is my first 
independent film. 

RC: I was a marginal member of New York Newsreel, 
and most of my filmmaking has been marginally 
political. I've made my living from teaching or writing — 
or not at all — while working infrequently in documen- 
tary film. The Dozens is not my first independent film, 
but it is my first dramatic feature. 

EB: Given both your documentary backgrounds, how 
did you come to do a fiction feature? 

CD: Actually, this started out as a documentary, but 
the more we researched the more complicated it 
became. We didn't think we'd be able to follow one or 
two women around and capture on film the experience 

of being out of jail. We realized that if we did it fictional- 
ly and scripted it, we'd get in more information and 
more complexity. 

EB: But the research was still helpful? 

CD: Yes. The script is a composite of four people's 
stories, and our research was all based on real ex- 

EB: How did you originally find these people? 

RC: We were guided towards the state-funded Turning 
Point Project. They had published plays, poems and 
essays by incarcerated women in Massachusetts. Not 
only had we liked the writings a lot, and used them as 
the inspiration for a couple of scenes, but one of the 
writers worked with us on most of the other scenes and 
ended up acting in the film too. That's Marian Taylor, 
who plays Russel. 

EB: Did you already have funding at this point? 

RC: Yes. We already had seed money for the statistical 
research, and then started doing what we might call the 
"human research" — collecting impressions and 
stories, and reading. 

EB: Where was the seed money from? 

CD: From the Massachusetts Foundation for 
Humanities and Public Policy. They had produced fic- 
tion films before, so when we thought of switching to a 
drama, we realized that they already had experience in 
this area. 

RC: They had funded Jackie Shearer's A Minor Alterca- 
tion, and documentaries like We Will Not Be Beaten 
and Mission Hill. Of all the state humanities commis- 
sions, they were one of the most active funders of 
media projects. 

I remember that I was discouraged by the possibility of 
making one more portrait documentary. Chris had made 
several and I had made Cutting Up Old Touches. I really 
didn't want to do it again. 

EB: Did you try to incorporate any documentary style 
into the film? 

RC: Yes, but not in the sense in which a lot of people 
use the term. People with a fiction background often 
make a conscious attempt to imitate documentary by 
hand-holding the camera. We had what I would call 
"documentary instincts," and it was really a question of 
forcing ourselves to think dramatically. I think the 
result is an interesting mixture of documentary and 

EB: What do you mean by forcing yourself to think 

RC: Shooting a dramatic film with little training was a 
baptism of fire. 

CD: Sitting down and scripting every word that was go- 
ing to be said was not a real treat. It sounded like it was 
going to be, but we wrote and rewrote and reshuffled. 
We did some rewriting while we were doing the filming, 
but that was so hectic that it became more a case of 
cutting out scenes because we didn't have time. 

EB: How did you find the actors and actresses? 

CD: Through notices in the papers, and auditions 
which we held at the BF/VF. 

EB: Did you spend a lot of time in rehearsal? 

CD: Not as much as I would have liked; maybe one and 
a half days in rehearsal for each scene. It really wasn't 
enough time to do more than begin. 

EB: What were your biggest problems? 

CD: I didn't realize how much control was going to be 
needed. I thought it would be a snap — easier than a 
documentary because everything would be organized 
and planned. I was going to know just what everyone 
was doing and saying. But there are so many more 
elements in fiction, and you've got to be on top of it all 
the time or it goes out of control. 

In a documentary you have fewer people and you rely 
on whatever you are filming to give you whatever you 
are going to work with. In fiction it's the other way 
around. You've got to be there every second to make 

sure it's happening. That was hard. By the time you're 
into the shooting, you're working sixteen yours a day, 
and there isn't much time to sit back and reexamine 
your basic ideas. It was quite a shock. 

EB: Was it hard working as a team? 

RC: We divided the work down the middle. Some film- 
makers say, "You handle the camera and I'll handle the 
actors". That seems like an artificial division to me. 
Two heads were not too many on this film. 

CD: I think it helped that we wrote it together. At least 
we went into rehearsals in agreement about the scenes. 

RC: I think it would be harder to co-direct someone 
else's script. In a sense it was a learning process for 
both of us. 

EB: Would you say that The Dozens is a "message" 

CD: There are two things for me. One is Sally the in- 
dividual, and I feel very good about her — she's a 
strong-spirited person. I feel sad about what happens to 
her, but not depressed. The other thing is the system 
she's caught up in, and I didn't feel comfortable about 
creating a heroine who was going to beat the system by 
herself, with no support. From what we had seen, it just 
wasn't happening. 

RC: I wanted to describe a kind of false political con- 
sciousness: someone who understands the system that 
exploits her to some extent, but not fully. Her con- 
sciousness is enriched in the course of her ex- 
periences, but she still can't beat the system as an 

EB: What has the response been from ex-prisoner 

CD: So far we've only shown it once in prison, and the 
results were mixed. The women only wanted to talk 
about being in prison, not about being out. They felt 
that we should have shown more of the violence that 
goes on inside the prison, and not so much about the 
psychological games. It would have been important to 
talk more about the socialization process, but we 

EB: Debra Margolies' performance is quite strong. How 
did you manage it, without having a lot of experience? 

RC: We talked to everyone we could in Boston who had 
experience in dramatic film and we had an idea of how 
to work. Really, the solution lies in being human about 
the whole thing. With Debra, there was no distinction 
between the technical actor and the emotional actor. 
We only did a few takes. She was very consistent. 

CD: She was always right there, concentrating, and 
that helped a lot. She was a fine person to work with. 

EB: Did you have problems in the editing, like maintain- 
ing the pacing of the film? 

RC: Yes, we did. The story is actually a series of 
episodes with no obvious time sequence. So pacing the 
individual scenes was a problem both on the set and in 
the editing room. 

CD: I think we started off too dependent on dialogue 
forgetting that the film is a visual medium. We often 
went back and reshot dialogue scenes to give them a 
better texture. 

EB: But the Boston filmmakers do work together, don't 

CD: Yes, we do, and it's too bad we don't do it more, 
because one of the things about making fiction 
features is that it takes so long — it can be five years 
from the time you get an idea to the time the film is 
released. You aren't going to develop very far as a film- 
maker at that rate. If I could be working on other peo- 
ple's features at the same time, it would make it easier 
for me to learn and speed up the process for everyone. 

EB: Have you found a way to resolve the problem about 
the time in between projects? 

CD: Not really. I'd like to do a shorter film or a 
documentary so I could keep going. If I have to wait five 
years, I'll have to start all over again. 

RC: I'd like to stay in dramatic features. If the 
economic outlook were not so bleak, I'd be in a better 
position to have a faster filmmaking career. Now, no 
one knows where the money is coming from next. 
That's the biggest obstacle. 

EB: What has happened to The Dozens since it's been 

RC: First Run Features is what's happened to it. When 
we started the film there was really no way of distribut- 
ing the film theatrically. Now we've got at least the 
possibility of finding a theatrical audience, for which 
we intended the film in the first place. After the open- 
ing in New York, there's the possibility of taking the 
whole package to several other cities. 

EB: Has there been television distribution as well? 

CD: It was purchased by German TV, and by the Fourth 
Channel in England, and it's going to run on WNET/13's 
Independent Focus show at the end of May. 

RC: I think the television distribution is important. It's 
in everyone's interest to work out a way to get system- 
atic exposure at every level — broadcast TV, cable, and 
theatrical. A film like ours appeals to public television 
for the same reasons that public funding was easier — 
it's partially a social issue film, and that comes across 
on TV. But it loses something too, because the collec- 
tive audience experience is lost. The humor doesn't 
come across as well; people don't laugh if they're 
watching it alone. I like it better in the theater. 

EB: Are you working on anything now? 

RC: and CD: Distribution of The Dozens. We both have 
ideas, but there doesn't seem to be any time to get 
them down on paper until the film is on its way. 

CD: The editing process was a real joy to discover. I 
naively thought we would be able to do the editing in 
three months because there wouldn't be any choices. In 
fact, with starting and stopping for fundraising, it took 
us over a year — and the choices were enormous. 
There's so much you can do. You can really change 
things completely from the way you shot them. 

RC: I had read interviews with the great directors who 
said, oh, editing is a snap; just stick the shots together, 
that's because they've got a dozen editors and 
assistants working for them. In our case we had two 
editors, no assistant, and a lot of creative ideas. It took 
a lot of time to work it all out. 

EB: Are there any directors or films that you used as 

CD: Not really. It's harder for me as a woman, because 
there aren't any great women directors out there. We 
did see a BBC docudrama called The Spongers 
(directed by Ronald Jaffe and produced by Tony Garnet) 
a few years ago, which is the kind of film we like. It's 
got a sort of social-documentary-realism feel to it. 

RC: It's a cohesive view of society, with room for 
working-class characters and their lives and problems. 
The film was also done in a documentary style; but in 
the best sense, because it was invisible. 

EB: A number of films done in Boston in the last few 
years have working-class characters: yours and Jan 
Egleson's, for example. Is there a "Boston School" of 

RC: The "Boston School" will probably go down in the 
history books but it's another kind of simplification. If 
all it takes to make a school is to have working-class 
characters, then there is one, but you've got to look at 
the films individually. Jan's creative strengths are dif- 
ferent from ours, and the films are not at all alike, 
artistically or politically. 

CD: It's hard to build a school on two or three films. 

RC: I don't know. Look at the Italian neo-realists: Open 
City, Paisan, and The Bicycle Thief — three very dif- 
ferent movies. Now, everyone lumps them together. I 
used to think that we'd never have an independent fic- 
tion film movement in America until there was some 
sort of cacaclysmic event — the way Rosselini and De 
Sica crawled out from the rubble of World War II and 
began making movies. Now I see that all you need are 
the 80's, and you can still squeeze out a few indepen- 
dent films from under the pre-war rubble, so to speak. 



THE DOZENS Chris Dall and Randall Conrad 


From Crisis to Crisis 

by Lawrence Sapadin 

Cold Feet at the Program Fund 

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Program 
Fund inflamed the independent community this Spring 
by declining to fund any of the approximately 300 pro- 
posals submitted by independent producers and public 
television stations for the second round of the Crisis to 
Crisis series. 

Crisis to Crisis is a program series being funded by the 
Program Fund to address, in CPB's words, "controver- 
sial issues of critical importance to the American 
public". CPB has allocated $1.5 million for the series. 
The first round, completed in December 1980, resulted 
in the funding of four productions, all by independent 
producers, at a total cost of just over $ 1 /2 million. 

The deadline for Round II proposals was February 13, 
1981. Over 300 proposals were received by CPB and 
reviewed by 18 readers. The readers selected about 40 
proposals, many by well-established, award-winning 
producers, for consideration by an advisory panel and 
the Program Fund staff. The advisory panel had seven 
members, only one of whom, Fred Wiseman, was an in- 
dependent producer. 

In late March, the second cycle of Crisis to Crisis was 
completed. Astonishingly, no proposals were selected 
for funding. Finalists received a form letter from Pro- 
gram Fund Director Lewis Freedman advising them 

"We regret that your proposal will not be funded 
for our Crisis to Crisis series. 

The Advisory Panel for Round II met for two days 
in mid-March and adjourned after reaching a con- 
sensus that none of the proposals submitted met 
their standards." 

News of the Program Fund's default spread rapidly 
through the independent community. CPB officially 
reported its decision in the April issue of Program Fund 

On April 23, 1981, the CPB Board met in Columbus, 
Ohio for its monthly meeting. A group of incensed in- 
dependents showed up to voice their concern about the 
backsliding at the Program Fund. As chance would 
have it, Lewis Freedman was also on hand to give the 
Board his quarterly Program Fund report. Although the 
producers were unable to obtain a place on the Board's 
agenda on such short notice, they did have an oppor- 
tunity to express their shock and indignation over the 
Crisis to Crisis situation to individual Board members 
and to Lewis Freedman. 

At that meeting, the CPB Board established an Ad Hoc 
Committee to evaluate the Program Fund to recom- 
mend changes in the Fund's policies and practices. 


The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers 
(AIVF) has taken the position, in a strongly worded let- 
ter to Freedman, that the Program Fund's failure to 
fund a single production "raises a strong inference of 
bad faith or improper conduct", or at least of defective 
selection procedures. "It does indeed defy belief that 
not one proposal was worthy of funding," wrote AIVF 
Director Lawrence Sapadin. 

Given the current political climate and the Reagan Ad- 
ministration's undisguised hostility toward CPB, there 
has been speculation that the Fund found its hard- 
hitting crisis format too hot to handle. 

Procedurally, AIVF criticized the Fund for the inade- 
quate representation of independent producers on the 
Fund's advisory panels, and insisted that future panels 
be peer panels consisting of film and video producers. 

The Association further urged the Fund to resubmit the 
Round II proposals to a new Round II panel so as not to 
penalize those who invested considerable time and ef- 
fort in the preparation of submissions for Round II. 
According to AIVF, "the producers and stations that 
submitted must not bear the burden of the Fund's 

Freedman, in a responding letter, defended the panels 
as having "representation from various groups." 
According to Freedman, the predominance of print 
journalists on the panels reflected the journalistic ap- 
proach being sought for Crisis to Crisis. Freedman 
rejected the suggestion that the Round II panels were 
defective and declined to resubmit the proposals for 

AIVF is developing a proposal for structural changes at 
the Program Fund to prevent the recurrence of such 
debacles as the non-funding of Crisis to Crisis Round 
II, and to further promote the funding of independent 
production. The Association will be pressing for full 
participation on the CPB Board's Ad Hoc Committee 
which is due to submit recommendations for a vote by 
the full CPB Board at the Board's July meeting. The 
Association will also seek a continuing role in the fur- 
ther development and implementation of Program Fund 

In the meantime, Freedman has assured us that the 
funds that were to have been used for Round II will be 
used in the remaining Crisis to Crisis rounds. In addi- 
tion, at AlVF's urging, Freedman has committed 
himself to coming to AIVF to answer questions about 
Program Fund policies and practices. . .after the con- 
clusion of Round III. 


Indies Speak out on arts funding! 


The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers 
sponsored a joint press conference on May 7, 1981 at 
the Art Theatre in New York City to provide the arts 
community an opportunity to express collectively its 
support for Federal arts funding, and its opposition to 
the budget cuts in the National Endowments for the 
Arts and Humanities proposed by the Reagan adminis- 

The press conference was distinguished by the number 
and diversity of the organizations that participated: 
from media organizations and trade unions to theatre, 
museum, music and literary groups. Some seventy 
organizations in all endorsed a joint statement in sup- 
port of government arts funding. The statement under- 
scored the role the Endowments have played in promot- 
ing private giving, and in stimulating local economic ac- 
tivity. The organizations rejected the notion that "any 
meaningful economic benefit is to be gained by crip- 
pling the Endowments". 

AIVF opened the press conference by reading support- 
ing letters and telegrams from Robert Redford, Leon- 
tyne Price, Joanne Woodward, Judy Collins and others 
who were unable to attend. Independent producers 

Claudia Weill, Ira Wohl, Barbara Kopple, Robert Young 
and William Greaves voiced their strong support for 
arts funding. Each, in their own way, highlighted the im- 
portance of the Endowments for the survival of inde- 
pendent art in a society dominated by the commercial 
media. Noting that the cuts would fall most heavily on 
minority arts programs, Greaves described the cuts as 
a "provocation" against the minority community, while 
Wohl focused on the importance of the "first money" 
from the Endowments for raising additional funds from 
private sources. 

Representatives of about a dozen participating organi- 
zations delivered their own statements on arts funding. 
AIVF, in a statement read by Executive Director Law- 
rence Sapadin, took the position that the Endowments 
had given a cultural voice to the people of this nation, 
and that the disproportionate cuts in the Endowments 
were politically, rather than economically, motivated. 
The Association's position has been that "the arts are 
not a frill. They are the voice of the people." AIVF urged 
all concerned parties to "write your legislators, speak 
to your audiences, and join with other groups to protest 
this open attack on the arts". 

AIVF Statement 

The National Endowments for the Arts and the 
Humanities have given a voice to the people of this 

With Endowment support, independent film and video 
producers have been able to tell the stories of their 
communities, to recount our national history, and to ex- 
periment with art forms in ways that would never have 
been sustained by the commercial media. 

Among the films being shown here at the Art Theatre 
this Spring, there has been a story about immigrant 
farmers organizing in the Dakotas; about a young 
woman in Boston struggling to stay out of trouble with 
the law; about a moonshiner and a resilient woman in 
Prohibition Florida; and about women throughout the 
country who picked up hammers and wrenches and 
joined the industrial work force during World War II. 
These films speak from a personal vision and with 
character and integrity. All received funding from the 

With the Endowments, we may be left with only the 
prime time mayhem of network television, and the 
stock fantasies of the commercial studios. 

Federal funding for the arts is economically sound. 

There is no justification for the grossly dispropor- 
tionate cuts being proposed. Limited government funds 
are multiplied many times over through matching grant 
programs, providing jobs and stimulating local 
economies wherever artists and related tradespeople 

Nonetheless, the Administration has declared its inten- 
tion to chop the Endowments in half. And that may be 
only the first step toward their complete elimination. 

Other programs on the chopping block are the CETA 
work training program, the food stamp program, public 
television and legal services: jobs, food, information 
and legal recourse — all slated to be cut brutally, 
dramatically, while unprecedented military spending 
goes unquestioned and unexamined. 

This is not austerity. This is the most sweeping realign- 
ment of power since the New Deal. These cuts are not 
economic. They are political. 

It is up to us to preserve a cultural voice for the people 
of this nation. Write your legislators, speak to your 
audiences, and join with other groups to protest this 
open attack on the arts. The arts are not a frill. They are 
the voice of the people. 


"The quality and diversity of the arts in America is 
severely threatened by the massive and dispropor- 
tionate budget cuts in the National Endowments for the 
Arts and Humanities proposed by the Reagan Ad- 
ministration. Since their creation in 1967, the Endow- 
ments have spurred tremendous growth in the funding 
of artistic endeavors that have enlightened and 
delighted millions of Americans throughout the nation. 

Federal leadership in arts funding has been crucial to 
promoting private sector giving through its matching 
grant program. In that way, limited government funds 
for the arts have been multiplied many times over, 

stimulating local economies wherever the work of 
artists and related trades people is produced, exhibited 
or performed. Corporate and private giving can in no 
way replace this federal support. 

We reject the notion that any meaningful economic 
benefit is to be gained by crippling the Endowments. 
Government funding for the arts and humanities is 
economically sound and promotes the general welfare. 

"Arts funding must be maintained and strengthened." 

This statement has been endorsed by the following 
organizations and individuals: 

Alliance of Literary Organizations 
Amalgamated Clothing and Textile 

Workers Union (ACTWU) 
American Federation of Arts 
The American Federation of Musicians 
American Place Theatre 
Black Theatre Alliance 
Bronx Museum of the Arts — Film Dept. 
Center for Arts Information 
Cine Information 
Collective for Living Cinema 
Coordinating Council of Literary 

Cultural Council Foundation 
Dance Theatre Workshop 
Downtown Community TV Center 
Local l-S, Department Store 

Workers Union 
Directors Guild of America 
The Dramatists Guild 
Film Forum 
The Film Fund 

Film Society of Lincoln Center 
First Run Features 
Foundation for the Community of 

Health & Hospital Workers (District 

Global Village 
Independent Cinema Artists and 

Producers (ICAP) 
The Independent Feature Project 
The Jamaica Arts Center 
Jazz Mobile 
The Kitchen 

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 
Media Center for Children 
Media Network 

Meet the Composer 
Millennium Film Workshop 
Museum of Modern Art — Film Dept. 
National Association of Broadcast 

Employees and Technicians (NABET) 15 
National Alliance of Media Arts Centers (NAMAC) 
National Association for Safety and Health 

in the Arts and Crafts 
The New Federal Theatre 
New Medium 
The New Museum 

New York Chinatown History Project 
New York Labor Film Club 
Anthology Film Archives 

Asian Cinevision 
Association of Hispanic Arts 
Audio Independents 
Black Filmakers Foundation 
Off-Off Broadway Alliance 
Organization of Independent Artists 
Pacific Street Films 
People's Communication Network 
Poets and Writers 
Screen Actors Guild (SAG) 
Soho Repertory Theatre 
The St. Marks PoetYy Project 
The Studio Museum of Harlem 
Third World Newsreel 
TV Lab — WNET/13 

United Church of Christ — Off. of Commun. 
Visual Arts Research Institute 
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts 
Robert Wagner Labor Archives 
Women Make Movies, Inc. 
Young Filmakers/Video ARts (YF/VA) 
Association of Independent Video 

and Filmmakers, Inc. 
Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance 


Transfer Points 

Compiled by The Bay Area Video Coalition — Reprinted from the BAVC Newsletter. 

You don't have to be clairvoyant to know you can 
change mediums. Film-to-tape, tape-to-film: with all 
their differences the mediums are transferable. Each 
transfer process has its own purpose, technique, 
drawbacks, advantages and costs. Film-to-tape can be a 
swift, efficient step in the post-production of film; tape- 
to-film can greatly expand the limitations of video 
distribution. Though the technology has been around 
for years, new levels of sophistication have made 
transfers an attractive option. There's no reason to feel 
bound to the medium of origination. Mixed media can 
be a wise choice that streamlines production and 
creates new possibilities for your projects, whether 
they be film or tape. 


Film, not being an electronic medium, can't be directly 
broadcast. To overcome this barrier, a system was 
developed that converts film to an electronic signal. 
Once converted, the signal can be broadcast or stored 
on videotape. This process is achieved by means of a 
film chain, or telecine. A film chain can be as simple as 
an image projected on a wall and recorded by a video 
camera. Of course, simplicity has its drawbacks. And 
so does this system: a distinct shudder in the image 
and questionable resolution. The shaking image is the 
result of incompatible frame speeds: 24 frames/second 
for film, 30 frames/second for video. To compensate for 
this spatio-temporal difference, most film chains have a 
projector with a modified shutter that allows the video 
camera to scan whole fields uninterrupted by frame 
edges. The typical commercial telecine consists of this 
modified projector, a mirror matrix, and a small rear pro- 
jection screen with a tv aspect ration. A video camera is 
mounted in front of the screen, focused and activated. 
The brilliance of the rear projection and the shorter 
distances involved tend to boost resolution of the 
image. Better systems have done away with the projec- 
tion and the transfer is achieved through a special lens 
straight to the camera. A contemporary innovation, the 
videola, allows a camera to be mounted on a modified 
moviola. Variable speeds and other features make it an 
inexpensive transfer system. 

With all its attempts at precise transfer, telecines still 
mediate the image through a variety of lenses and pro- 
jections. A quantum leap beyond is the flying spot 
scanner. Developed by Rank Cintel, the spot scanner 
eliminated optical intervention. The film stock is slight- 
ly illuminated and a gun directly scans the celluloid 
surface. No lens intercedes in the process. The subse- 
quent distortion is minimal and computerized color cor- 
rection and signal processing allows for balanced tapes 
that are often superior to the original. 

The Rank Cintel with computerized color correction and 
pan and scan for anamorphic film, costs approximately 
$250,000. The prohibitive expense has forced most 
facilities to use more traditional telecines. A modifica- 

tion peculiar to Versatile's Rank Cintel allows transfers 
from Super 8, rather than just 16mm. The cost is 

For some purposes, the quality of a Rank Cintel 
transfer is unnecessary. If a filmmaker wants a 16mm 
print transferred to %" tape for distribution or for im- 
pressive screenings, the resulting cassette quality 
could justify the expense. But if the transfer is simply a 
work print then a $100/hr. transfer would be quite 
satisfactory. And it is here, in the area of work prints, 
that film-to-tape transfers have found their real 

Owing to the speed and versatility of video editing, 
many filmmakers are beginning to cross-over mediums 
for the early stages of post-production. Rather than 
developing costly work prints, footage transferred to 
videotape can be neatly stored, accounted for and 
manipulated. Quickly chosen edits can be previewed, 
reviewed and trimmed. There is no mechanical lag time, 
no misplaced frames, no damaged footage. Dissolves 
and fades, traditionally the products of lengthy proces- 
sing, can be viewed rapidly. Audio tracks can be mixed 
and inserted without mag strips and lab work. Using a 
well-planned edit log, rough-cuts can be completed in a 
fraction of the time generally required for film handling. 
Access to video post-production equipment may be 
costlier, but the rapidity of editing certainly balances 
out the added expense. 

Often filmmakers will transfer film-to-tape to supply 
cassettes to institutions that have playback equipment, 
but no 16mm screening capabilities. Some videomakers 
will utilize the process to incorporate footage shot on 
film into their video projects. Still the most common 
use for film-to-tape transfer is rough-cutting: an occur- 
rence gaining in frequency each day. 


If it wasn't for tape-to-film transfer much of early tele- 
vision would have been lost. Before videotape was 
developed in the mid-Fifties, live programming had no 
storage mode. The feed went directly on-the-air and as 
gone. To combat this situation, the kinescope was in- 
vented. A very rudimentary process, it involved filming 
the video image off a tv monitor. The reproduction was 
generally mediocre: scanlines were obvious, resolution 
was dim and, if poorly executed, a visible shudder 

Since the days of the kinescope, considerable ad- 
vances have been made in tape-to-film transfer. Units 
now exist that use modified cameras with aligned shut- 
ters to prevent flicker and high-resolution monitors. The 
camera and monitor are housed together to decrease 
the distance between the image surface and the 
camera lens. In San Francisco, only three facilities (see 
chart) offer tape-to-film transfers. Each of these 
facilities uses the same camera, designed by W. A. 


Palmer. The individual systems vary slightly, but essen- 
tially the services of these production houses are quite 

The Palmer transfer method is, once again, dealing with 
optics. To avoid the necessity of imperfect lenses and 
monitors, an electronic transfer method was created by 
an LA-based company, Image Transform. This system 
takes the video signal, breaks it down into three color 
signals, and uses an electron beam to impregnate a 
film surface. This length of film is then developed to 
combine and correct the colors. A similar device, 
operating in Detroit, at Producer's Color Service, uses a 
laser beam to scan the celluloid. The subsequent 
transfers are color correct, dense and almost free of 

High-quality tape-to-film transfers can be a worthwhile 
investment. For videomakers interested in distribution 
to the educational audio-visual market, 16mm prints are 
a must. Most institutions have film projection capa- 
bilities and no video payback. Distributors often de- 
mand that tapes be transfered to 16mm film to expand 
the possible buyers. 

Though an hour-long transfer can cost as much as 
$5400, the sales possibilities for an aggressively 
distributed film could warrant the expense. A serious 
evaluation of the film's potential market should deter- 
mine the size of this preliminary investment. An im- 
mediate savings of $1500 on a cheaper transfer may 
mean a loss of numerous sales in the future. Then 
again, the limitations of your audience may not justify 
top quality transfers. 

Roy Diner of Leo Diner Films feels that for limited 
circulation, non-broadcast situations, and small for- 
mats, like Super 8 promotional loops, the less expen- 
sive off-the-monitor transfers are fine. For larger 
distribution efforts or broadcast, electronic scanning 
process are appropriate. 

Another justifiation for tape-to-film transfer is foreign 
distribution. European standards, PAL and SECAM, are 
not compatible with our domestic standard, NTSC. By 
transfering to film, the entire quandary of standards is 
eliminated. European distributors can handle your work 
as a film or do a second transfer to the proper tape 


If you are determined to do foreign distribution on 
videotape, there are devices that can convert standards. 
At present, no facility in the Bay Area advertises such a 
service. However, a number of production houses in 
Los Angeles do have the necessary gear. Image Trans- 
form can convert any combination of NTSC, PAL and 
SECAM. The cost for such a service is $220 hr. for %" 
cassettes. Film can also be transferred to tape with a 
PAL or SECAM standard. The cost for this transfer is 
$325 hour. 


Just what does the independent producer 
want from a motion picture laboratory? 


"Good quality prints Easy access An 

expert film consultant a highly skilled 

timer And. , . .Personal attention. . ." 

-Eliot Noyes, Jr.- 


m West 49th Street 
New York, N.Y. 10019 

Phone Bill Pomerance or Tony Romano 212-247-4770 




food drinks 

220 W. 49 ST. (B-WAY), N.Y., N.Y. 

Film Stock Scotch #208 & 209 

Leader Fullcoat Fi,m for s,ides 



Frezzi Camera Rental 

.- , . . . _ . Video Cassettes 
16 Interlock Prjn. 

814 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 


THE KIRLIAN WITNESS, a film by Jonathan Sarno. 




• Cuts Delivery Time Dramatically 

• Eliminates Hunting lor Missing Originals 

• Reduces Human Error 

18 West 45th Street 

Suite 610A 
New York, N.Y. 10036 






The New American Cinema Showcase 

Marian Luntz 

The Independent Feature Project (IFP) and the 
American Film Institute's Exhibition Services office 
have organized the New American Cinema Showcase, a 
week-long series of independent feature films which 
will play in five cities around the US during 1981. Films 
will run in a commercial movie theatre at each site, and 
local activities will be coordinated by an area media 
arts group. This collaborative effort, funded in part by a 
grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a 
model project designed to give independent films ac- 
cess to a domestic exhibition/distribution system 
which has traditionally been resistant to them. 

The concept of exhibiting independent films through a 
cooperation among national and local, nonprofit and 
commercial organizations originated with Sandra 
Schulberg, founding member of the IFP and producer of 
Northern Lights. Having spent considerable time and 
energy navigating the specialized market, she was well- 
acquainted with the need to develop new techniques 
for injecting independent films into the mainstream. 
Essential to her envisioning of a Showcase program 
was that it be subsidizes, so that the initial year-long 
series would be equipped with the resources to 
stimulate considerable publicity and delineate a prece- 
dent for future presentations of the New American 
Cinema. It was also anticipated that the pilot year 
would be better able to inspire interest among potential 
theatrical exhibitors if it were enhanced by grant 

At the AlVf-IFP second annual American Independent 
Feature Film Market in September 1980, Schulberg 
described the Showcase idea to Nancy Sher, who had 
just begun working at the American Film Institute as 
Director of Exhibition Services. (Exhibition Services is a 
new program, based at the AFI's East Coast offices in 
Washington DC, involved in developing a range of ser- 
vices to augment the programs of various organizations 
involved in the presentation of film and video.) Sher ex- 
pressed interest in the project and subsequently added 
the AFI's cosponsorship when Schulberg submitted the 
proposal to the NEA. A grant was awarded, and the two 
organizations set about choosing specific sites for the 
week-long runs. After numerous interviews with in- 
dependent exhibitors and directors of media arts 
centers, organizers came up with five cities where the 
potential for joint offerings seemed especially con- 
ducive to the Showcase. The schedule is: 

Washington DC 6/19-25 Inner Circle Theatre/ 

American Film Institute 
San Francisco 7/22-28 Surf Theatre/Film Arts 

Houston 10/16-22 River Oaks Theatre/ 

Southwest Alternate Media 

New Orleans 11/13-19 Prytania Theatre/Loyola 

Univ. Film Buffs Institute 
Atlanta 12/4-11 Rhodes Theatre/Image 

Film and Video Center 


Participating exhibitors are Ted Pedas/Circle Theatres 
(Washington); Mel Novikoff/Surf Theatres (San Fran- 
cisco); and Bert Manzari/Movie, Inc. (Houston, New 
Orleans, Atlanta), all of whom are extremely supportive 
of the aims of the Showcase and particularly so in 
recognizing its capacity for enhancing the viability of 
successful commercial runs for quality independent 
American features. Conceivably the introduction of 
films through a week-long repertory format will lead to 
subsequent bookings of the individual titles in the 
Showcase cities. 

An open solicitation for features produced since 1979 
was conducted in the beginning of 1981, in response to 
which approximately 40 films were sent to the AFI 
screening room. The screening and selection process 
took place mid-March, when programmers from each 
Showcase city were invited to Washington by the AFI 
and the IFP. The group included Gail Silva of film Arts 
Foundation; Tom Sims of Southwest Alternate Media 
Project; John Mosier of Loyola University Film Buffs 
Institute; and Linda Dubler of Image Film and Video 
Center; in addition to Nancy Sher and Tony Safford of 
Exhibition Services; IFP Director Michael Goldberg, and 
Marian Luntz, who has been hired by the IFP as 
Showcase Coordinator after several years' experience 
in specialized distribution. The occasion afforded a 
continuous, informal forum for the exchange of ideas 
and information among representatives of the various 
media arts groups, providing preliminary impetus for 
the seminars to be held in conjunction with each 

Weighing such criteria as local appeal, the attraction of 
area premieres, and personal experience with the 
presentation of independent product, the programmers' 
choices overlapped considerably: a total of nine titles 
have been picked to play in various combinations (each 
Showcase was limited to five titles). These films are 
The Day After Trinity (Jon Else); The Haunting of M 
(Anna Thomas); Heartland (a Wilderness Women Pro- 
duction direction by Richard Pearce); Impostors (Mark 
Rappaport); Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett); The 
Kirlian Witness (Jonathan Sarno); Model (Frederick 
Wiseman); Over-Under, Sideways-Down (Eugene Orr, 
Steve Wax, Peter Gessner); and The whole Shootin' 
Match (Eagle Pennell). 

Each feature will be preceded by a short subject 
selected from the best of the NEA Short Film 
Showcase. Films submitted for NAC Showcase con- 
sideration but not chosen may be screened at the third 
annual American Independent Feature film Market in 
the Fall. Supplemental to the screening of the above 
films, each Showcase will address the needs of area 
filmmakers through receptions and seminar discus- 
sions where panelists may include directors/producers 
of Showcase titles and other industry professionals 
sensitive to the enigmatic process of producing and 
marketing films outside the Hollywood system. These 
outreach efforts can be instrumental in developing a 

legacy of ongoing activity in each city and nationally 
towards the continued delineation and expansion of the 
New American Cinema movement. 

The Showcase will open with an invitational screening 
of Heartland at the Kennedy Center in Washington on 
June 18, cosponsored by the National Endowment for 
the Humanities which provided production financing 
for the film. 

It is projected that the primary beneficiaries of the 
New American Cinema Showcase will be independent 
filmmakers. Inherent in the Showcase concept is a 
committment to increasing the visibility of the New 
American Cinema. By offering a highly-publicized, 
diverse sampling of independent features and augment- 
ing theatre audiences with grassroots solicitation of 
special interest groups, public awareness will be 

A significant distinction between the Showcase and a 
film festival is the continuity factor. Both the IFP and 
Exhibition Services are actively involved in facilitating 
the expansion of American independent film produc- 
tion, distribution, and exhibition. The 1981 efforts are 
structuring a valuable set of relationships among the 
AFI, IFP, commercial exhibitors, and media arts 

centers. This network will remain vital beyond the initial 
five playdates. Creative alternatives are required to 
guide the marketing of independent film, and the 
various national and local indiosyncracies encountered 
in presenting the New American Cinema Showcase this 
year will fuel and inform future programs of both Ex- 
hibition Services and the IFP. 

Even since the Fall, when the Showcase proposal was 
approved for NEA funding, the domestic climate for in- 
dependents has become more receptive. First Run 
Features, a New York-based company founded by film- 
makers to distribute their work collectively, has in- 
creased its library from 4 to 17 titles. Numerous ex- 
hibitors around the country have appealed to the IFP for 
information about showcasing in their areas. Several of 
the showcase titles have been acquired by independent 
distributors in recent months, and more distributors 
have expressed enthusiasm about the array of new 
features to be presented in the 1981 Market. 

The New American Cinema Showcase, with its 
crossover collaboration among various institutions, is 
an ambitious and unique presentation. Both the IFP and 
Exhibition Services encourage comments on this 
undertaking, so as to tailor it to the needs of the 
American independent film community. 







THE HAUNTING OF M. a film by Anna Thomas 15 

IN FOCUS - A Guide To Using Films 

In recent years, several handbooks have been published 
for target-readership within the 16mm marketplace — 
the new growing independent network of theatrical 
cinemas, small enclaves within a few urban centers, 
and also the 16mm market of schools, churches, 
libraries, civic-action collectives and community 

Increasingly, such groups are gaining clout, money and 
purposefulness. They are involved — not just in the 
watching of films — but in their production, their 
distribution, their exhibition, even their publicizing in 
the low-budget press, and their participation at foreign 
and domestic festivals. 

Accordingly, a new practical guidebook attempts to 
assist individuals and groups of all kinds to find and 
rent and program compatibly the special films needed 
for their special purposes. 

New book is "In Focus — A Guide to Using Films," by 
Linda Blackaby, Dan Georgakas and Barbara Margolis, 
from a concept by Affonso Beato. Publisher is New 
York Zoetrope, New York, 1980, 224 pages, $18.95 hard- 
cover, $9.95 paperback. 

"In Focus" authors are production and distribution pro- 
fessionals, associated with Cine Information, a non- 
profit educational organization funded by the National 
Endowment for The Arts, the New York State Council 
on The Arts, the Film Fund, the United Methodist 
Church, the Playboy Foundation, and other groups. 

Book provides the how-to for organizing a screening, 
preparing a mailing, advertising through appropriate 
media to find one's own public. 

Most importantly, "In Focus" focusses on the building 
of audiences, by finding congenial souls within the 
community who are responsive to certain issues and 

film programming. Just as union recruiters work within 
an unorganized factory, so film activists set up their 
projectors to acquaint citizens with issues and alter- 
natives. Implied behind this aim is the guidance of the 
collected audience-energy toward liberal social goals. 

Does it sound like agit-prop? There is some similarity. 
And why not? By viewing a provocative documentary, or 
a fiction film dramatizing an urgent problem, an au- 
dience can become moved, aware and agitated. The 
film, biased or not, serves as a catalyst to stimulate 
consciousness and to provoke a healthy hullabaloo and 
democratic disputation, from which possibly communi- 
ty action can derive. 

Propaganda is the other half of the agit-prop hyphenate. 
Agit-prop cinema in the U.S. during the late 1960's and 
1970's was a major factor in galvanizing public opinion 
to demand our withdrawal from Vietnam. 

Similarly, in our own day, the no-nuke agit-prop films 
are in popular circulation among environmentalist and 
peace groups. Such films are an adjunct to the multi- 
media dissemination of pro-and-con ideas and 
arguments of all types, this is all part of the democratic 
process, by which an informed public is assisted to 
make responsible choices. It's the American way. 

"In Focus" doesn't dwell on the agit-prop methodology, 
but it's there by implication. Most useful are sections 
on media resource centes; funding; independent film 
and video collectives; distribution do's and dont's; 
state, regional and local arts agencies; and much 
valuable how-to data, information and contacts. Prac- 
tical intention of the book is also demonstrated by sec- 
tions on setting up the mechanics of screenings, 
acoustics, the writing and printing of program-notes, 
and related skills. 


Specializing in 
ibecks and Kern, all models. 
New York's best prices 
at your place or ours. 

630 9th Ave., NX, N.Y 10036 







Medio Clips 



The Interconnection Committee of Public Television 
(formally TAC) at their April 24, 1981 meeting 
unanimously passed an AIVF proposal that will 
authorize a committee to formulate a proposal outlining 
an efficient PTV satellite marketplace for independent 
program suppliers. The Committee, comprised of 
representatives from CPB, PBS, TV Lab and AIVF, will 
review the key elements of AlVF's proposal. These 
elements include: 1) a non-PBS coordinator who will 
work with program suppliers and stations to arrange 
satellite feeds (both preview and live), billing and pro- 
motional assistance; 2) a mixture of station acquisition 
with CPB matching funds to pay program suppliers; 3) 
CPB interconnection operational funds; 4) a separate 
promotional fund; 5) an evaluation system. The commit- 
tee will then offer a more detailed analysis of how an in- 
novative satellite distribution system can be designed 
so that all participants' needs are considered. Upon ap- 
proval of this final proposal, funding and support will 
be sought. For more information on developments, con- 
tact J. T. Rice, (212) 473-3400. 


There's a prospect of at least five satellites servicing 
Europe by 1985, each of them covering regions far 
beyond the country of origin and able to transmit direct 
to domestic receivers equipped with $450, one-meter 
dish antennae. Ground rules balancing the free flow of 
information against the right of each country to deter- 
mine the shape of its own communications system 
have yet to be drawn up — maybe because no one's 
sure they can be operated. 

It is over four years since the World Administrative 
Radio Conference (WARC), organized by the Interna- 
tional Telegraph Union, allocated five satellite channels 
to each of the world's countries, with the exception of 
the Americas, which preferred to delay such allocation 
until 1983. No satellite "groundprint" can be tailored to 
fit precise national boundaries. Overspill is inevitable. 
A French satellite would cover southeast England, Lux- 
embourg's "bird" would saturate a significant area of 
Northern France and Southern Germany, and a pro- 
jected Anglo-Swiss satellite would reputedly be 
capable of covering the whole of continental Europe. 

(Reprinted from Variety, April 22, 1981) 


The AIVF in conjunction with the Media Alliance will be 
exclusively providing the Video Expo trade show, to be 
held in the Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden in 
October, with a video art exhibition program. Each 
media group in the Media Alliance will curate a program 
of that center's videomakers. Media Alliance will also 
have a booth on hand to promote to the industry and at- 
tendees of Video Expo the services they provide. 


The Cable Marketplace and the Independent Producer 

was the theme of NCTA booth #1304 — a joint effort of 
Independent Cinema Artists & Producers (ICAP), 
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers 
(AIVF) and Short Film Showcase (SFS). AIVF, SFS, and 
ICAP have joined forces for the NCTA Convention to 
highlight the vitality and appeal of independent work 
for cable markets. ICAP Associate Administrator Sandy 
Mandelberger and AIVF Telecommunications Director 
John Rice were on hand to offer the cable industry key 
information for access to the independent community 
and availability of independent productions. For many 
independents, sharing booths at program trade shows 
is an effective and economical way to showcase work. 
One upcoming forum for cable marketing is the NCTA/ 
CTAM Cable Program Marketing Exposition slated for 
October 4-6 in New Orleans. 


The Federal Communications Commission has decided 
that it needs more information before it can alter the 
network financial interest rule. The decision could 
potentially affect the programming that is available to 
the networks as they launch their cable television 
endeavors. The FCC action was in response to a re- 
quest from CBS, Inc. the network asked for a declara- 
tory ruling on the commission's rules that prohibit a 
network from acquiring subsidiary rights to television 
programming. The FCC ruled that not enough evidence 
had been presented to justify reviewing the regulation. 
However, the broadcast bureau staff was directed to 
ask CBS to supply additional information. According to 
a staff member, the earliest possible date that the issue 
could appear before the commission again would be in 
"six or seven weeks." An entity such as CBS Cable 
would be allowed to run its own programming over the 
cable network, but the present rule would not allow it to 
acquire fare from independent producers. 


Complete Crystal Controlled Systems 

Arri BL/Nagra 4.2 Package CP16R/Nagra III Package 

includes: 10-100 Zeiss zoom, two mags, two battery 

belts, Sachtler tripod, changing bag and 

recorder with headset and ATN 


includes: 12-120 zoom, handgrip, orientable viewfinder, 
two mags, two batteries, two chargers, NCE tripod, 
changing bag and recorder with headset and ATN 


Full range of 16mm/S8mm and Video 

Production and Postproduction Services available 

Ask about Summer Specials 

Call 673-9361 

Young Filmakers /Video Arts 

4 Rivington Street 
New York City 10002 

Bring this ad to YF/VA and receive a free copy of the Equipment Loan Handbook 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 


16mm & 35mm 


Coble Reps Address Indies 

At a workshop held in San Francisco on Saturday, April 
25, representatives of major cable services — Cable 
News Network, CBS Cable, Home Box Office, and 
Showtime — outlined programming trends and 
highlighted opportunities for independent film and 
video producers. 

The workshop, one of the national "New Market Up- 
dates" series, was offered by New Medium, the New 
York-based telecommunications consulting firm with 
funding provided by the National Endowment for the 
Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Co- 
sponsors for the event were the Bay Area Video Coali- 
tion and Film Arts Foundation. New Market Updates 
workshops were also held earlier this year in Houston, 
Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Philadelphia. 

Programming executives at the San Francisco session 
agreed that the cable market for independently pro- 
duced work is growing and will be important over the 

Stephanie Sills, West Coast Senior Producer for CBS 
Cable, focused on the need for quality productions and 
stressed that terms are negotiable at CBS on a case by 
case basis. 

Loreen Arbus, Showtime's West Coast VP for Program 
Development, emphasized the importance of a multiple 
market strategy in covering production costs. Rather 
than approaching Showtime to cover the full cost of an 
original production or series, Arbus suggested that in- 
dependents come to the negotiating table with some of 
the financing already worked out. Sources might in- 
clude foreign television, public television and domestic 
syndication leases. 

Lisa Tumbleson, Home Box Office's Manager of Pro- 
gramming Operations, explained the difference be- 
tween HBO's programming philosophy and that of the 
major broadcast networks. She cited the "Consumer 
Reports Show", produced for HBO by independent 
Alvin Perlmutter, as an example of a "narrowcast" 
targeted to a specific audience. HBO can offer this type 
of programming, according to Tumbleson, because the 
service is not locked into an advertiser-supported 
system. Also highlighted were opportunities for in- 

dependents on Cinemax, Time Inc.'s 24-hour movie ser- 
vice designed to complement HBO, which has a larger 
audience, Tumbleson pointed out that Cinemax has 
been more "experimental" in its offerings. Films leased 
by cinemax have included "Heartland", "Northern 
Lights", and "Return of the Secaucus Seven". 

Focusing on the potential for documentary works in 
public television and other markets were Jon Else, Pro- 
ducer/Director of "The Day After Trinity", a film on J. 
Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the 
atomic bomb; director Lynne Littman, Academy Award 
winner and former Executive Producer of ABC Movies 
for Television; and Lawrence K. Pomeroy, Executive 
Producer of the "U.S. Chronicle" documentary series 
for public television's Interregional Program Service. 

Noting the success of the "U.S. Chronicle" series, 
Pomeroy suggested that future opportunities may be 
provided for independent input. The importance of 
public television support for documentaries was also 
stressed by Jon Else, whose Academy Award- 
nominated film benefitted through the fund-raising 
efforts of KTEH, the San Jose PBS affiliate. Lynne Litt- 
man traced her own career in public and commercial 
broadcast television, noting an increase in oppor- 
tunities for documentary producers at the network 

Other speakers at the San Francisco workshop includ- 
ed: Mindy Affrime of Godmother Productions, producer 
of the feature film 'Tell Me a riddle"; Brad Bunnin, an 
attorney specializing in entertainment law at the San 
Francisco firm of Flame, Sanger, Grayson & Ginsburg; 
and Joy Pereths, President of Affinity Inc., the New 
York firm specializing in foreign distribution of inde- 
pendent U.S. features. In their panel session, "Making 
the Deal: The Art of Survival", the intricacies of "tiered" 
or "windowed" financial and contractual arrangements 
for new media were discussed. 

Sites for workshops in a series funded by the New York 
State Council on the Arts are Rochester, N.Y., Buffalo, 
N.Y. and New York City. 

For additional information, contact New Medium's Pro- 
gram Manager, Neal Brodsky, at (212) 595-4944. 


The deadline for submission of program proposals by 
producers for public television's ninth annual Station 
Program Cooperative (SPC) is August 14, a full seven 
weeks earlier than previous years' deadlines, according 
to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Other dates 
in the proposal submission and preliminary considera- 
tion phase of the SPC have been advanced as well. The 
first station preference poll will occur in September, 
and the Program — where proposals surviving the 
preference poll will be invited to make in-person 
presentations to station programmers — will be held 

the last week of October in New Orleans. The advanced 
timetable was established to allow additional time for 
proposal revisions by producers between the Program 
Fair and the final station selection process which will 
begin in January 1982. All program proposals for SPC-9 
must be submitted on forms which request details of 
production and promotion budgets, a narrative descrip- 
tion of the proposed programs, and other production in- 
formation, these forms will be available from PBS July 
1. No sampler or pilot tapes are required for the August 
14th deadline. ^ 



FOR SALE: ST 1900 Steenbeck, 5 
yrs. old, 16mm, 6-plate in excellent 
condition, with fast rewind. $8,000; 
will discuss. Call Kit Clarke, (212) 

FOR SALE: Canon zoom lens 
18-108mm, F 1.6. An absolute must 
for improving the image of Sony 
1610 or 1600 cameras. Lens sells 
new for $900, will sell for $450. Call: 
(212) 233-5851. 

FOR SALE: Steenbeck STI900 
6-plate complete. Privately owned 
cream puff. $14,000. Call: (212) 

FOR SALE: 4.2 Nagra, mint condi- 
tion, $4500. Miller's head tripod with 
spiker, new. $400. Call: (212) 

FOR RENT: Aquastar 3-tube color 
video project. r Sharp XC700 color 
video camera with Sony VO 4800 
portable %" video recorder, all ac- 
cessories. Also, mobile van with 
generator. Call: (212) 598-0773. 

FOR SALE: CP 16 R camera, 
viewfinder, four magazines, bat- 
teries and chargers. Mint condition, 
$495. Contact: Mike Hall, RR 5, Box 
95A, Muncie IN 47302, (317) 

FOR SALE: Frezzolini LW-16 XTAL 
control (dbl/sgl system) with 
12-120mm Angenieux zoom lens, 3 
400-ft. magazines, 3 batteries and 3 
chargers. Excellent condition, 
$2900. Call: Hassan, (212) 748-8475 
or 490-0077. 

FOR SALE: Optical printer; 16mm 
upright moviola; Nagra III; Switar 
10mm F1.6 lens. Call: (212) 

FOR SALE: Sony AV 3400 portapak 
deck, V2", includes AC box and RF 
unit, perfect condition, $250. Call: 
(212) 233-5851. 


FERENCE on Television Drama, 
July 24-28. Contact: Frederick I. 
Kaplan, Chairman, FICTVD, Depart- 
ment of Humanities, Michigan State 
University, East Lansing Ml 48824. 


duction Workshop, July 6-17, 
Rochester NY. Contact: Lynn 
Underhill, Visual Studies Workshop, 
31 Prince St., Rochester NY 14606, 
(716) 442-8676. 

Conference, August 3-8. Contact: 
Sanford Gray, Mass Communication 
Dept., University of South Dakota, 
Vermillion SD 57069, (605) 677-5477. 

Animators, August 15-18. Contact: 
Yvonne Anderson, Director, 62 
Tarbell Ave., Lexington MA 02173, 

SEMINAR, August 16-22, Wells Col- 
lege, Aurora NY. Contact: Barbara 
Van Dyke, International Film 
Seminars, 1860 Broadway, Suite 
1108, New York NY 10028, (212) 

summer workshops and lectures in- 
clude: Basics of Portable Video Pro- 
duction (8 sessions beginning July 
8); Financial/Legal Practices for In- 
dependent Film & Video Producers 
(July 21 & 28); Videocassette 
Editing (June 13 & 14, Aug. 1 & 2); 
Animated Film Seminar (Aug. 11 & 
12). For more info: Paula Jarowski, 
YF/VA, 4 Rivington St., New York 
NY 10002, (212)673-9361. 

summer courses in stage, screen 
and television arts. For more info: 
Dean J. Michael Miller, School of 
the Arts, NYU, 111 2nd Ave., New 
York NY 10003, (212) 477-6430. 

summer schedule provides a choice 
of either or both of two 6-week ses- 
sions in drawing, filmmaking, paint- 
ing, performance/video, photog- 
raphy, printmaking, sculpture/ 
ceramic sculpture and the humani- 
ties. For more info: SFAI, 800 
Chestnut St., San Francisco CA 
94133, (415) 771-7020. 


CONVENIENT, quiet 24-hour access 

editing room for rent: fully-equipped 
with 8-plate Steenbeck, powered 
Steenbeck rewind table, 2 trim bins, 
Rivas splicer, split reels, syn- 
chronizer, viewer etc. Screening 
room and 16mm mag transfer 
facilities also available. Non- 
smokers preferred. Available begin- 
ning May 11, 1981. $750/month; 
$250/week; $60/day. Telephone ex- 
tra. Call: Anomaly Films, (212) 

quick and efficient synching of 
16mm dailies and track. I have 
equipment. Call: Terry, (212) 

TWO-PICTURE 16/35 KEM in fully- 
equipped editing room near 11th 
Street and Broadway. Contact: 
Charles Light, (212) 473-8043 or 
Jacki, (212) 925-7995. 

facilities available. Fully-equipped 
rooms, 24-hour access in security 
building. Two 6-plate Steenbecks, 
1-16/35 KEM, sound transfers from 
Va" to 16mm & 35mm mag, narra- 
tion recording, extensive sound ef- 
fects library, interlock screening 
room. Contact: Cinetudes Film Pro- 
ductions Ltd., 295 West 4 St., New 
York NY 10114, (212) 966-4600. 

Steenbeck, rewinds and table, 
splicers, 8 split reels, synchronizer, 
Moviscop, air conditioner, 
typewriter, desk, phone, rug, 
shelves and rack. Rates: $40/day; 
$175/wk; $625/mo. Monthly rate 
negotiable. Call: Kit Clarke, 1697 
Broadway, New York NY 10019, 
(212) 866-4590. 

16mm Steenbeck. Sound transfers 
also available. Complete % " 
Panasonic NV9600 video editing 
room available. Call: (212) 486-9020. 

VIDEO %" EDITING ROOM for rent. 
2 Sony VO-2860A editing decks, 
Cezar editor and black box, 2 
Videotek monitors. Frame accurate 
inserts, audio mixer Sony MX-510. 
Call: (212)598-0773. 



Film Festival, June 25-28, Pacific 
Film Archive, Berkeley CA. Contact: 
Alice Plato, Public Broadcasting 
Association, PO Box 921, Berkeley 
CA 94701, (415)525-4583. 

held in October. Deadline: July 6. 
Contact: Mary A. Rupe, Film Coun- 
cil of Greater Columbus, 257 S. 
Brinker Ave., Columbus OH 43204, 
(614) 274-1826. 

AMERICA/Motion Picture Division/ 
Teenage Film Festival deadline: 
July 15. Contact: Peter B. Crombie, 
Chairman, PSA/MPD/TFF, 5063 
West 88 St., Oaklawn IL 60453. 

vision Producers International Film 
Festival, July 23-26. Contact: Larry 
Smallwood, Criairma, IAMP & TP, 
1315 Walnut St., Philadelphia PA 
19107, (215) 732-9222. 

FILM FESTIVAL, August 16-19. Con- 
tact: Jim Hickey, Filmhouse, 88 
Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH 3 9BZ, 

20-30. Contact: Serge Losique, 
Director, 1455 Boulevard de Maison- 
neuve Ouest, Montreal H3G 1M8, 
Canada. Telex: 0525472. 

FAC-TV 82, the International 
Festival of Films on Architecture 
and Urban Planning, will be held in 
Vellenueve-lez-Avignon, France, in 
October. For additional info con- 
tact: Caroll Michels, FAC-TV and 
Archispot, 491 Broadway, New York 
NY 10012, (212) 966-0713 or FAC-TV 
and Archispot, CIRCA, La Char- 
treuse, Villeneuve-lez-Avignon 
30400, France, (90)25-05-46. 


Round 4 is Friday, August 14. For 
submission guidelines, call Eloise 
Payne, (202) 293-6160. 

SOHO TELEVISION is a program air- 
ing weekly over Manhattan Cable 
and TelePrompTer Cable Systems 

in NYC. Program focus on contem- 
porary art. Selected works receive 
$25 for 15 minute segments, $50 for 
half-hour segments, per airing. For 
more info, contact: The Artists 
Television Networks, Inc., 152 
Wooster St., New York NY 10012, 
(212) 254-4978. 

short films for children and adult 
audiences in Holland, France, 
England, Belgium and West Ger- 
many: next sales appointments 
scheduled for July. This alternative 
distribution outlet for independent 
filmmakers returns approximately 
80% of profits to the artist. Contact: 
Independent Distributor, 3827 24 
St., San Francisco CA 94114, (415) 

independent film and video makers. 
Specializes in films for health care 
profession, but short films and 
tapes for all markets welcome. 
Alternatives to traditional distribu- 
tion arrangements offered. For fur- 
ther information, contact Arthur 
Hoyle, Pelican Films, 3010 Santa 
Monica Blvd., Suite 440, Santa 
Monica CA 90404, (213) 828-4303. 


CONSORTIUM will fund 8 programs, 
to include: Amo (Willette Coleman); 
Dexter Gordon in Concert (Edwin R. 
Clay); The Black Theatre Movement: 
A Raisin in the sun to the Present 
(Woodie King, Jr.); The Heath 
Brothers in Concert (Edwin R. Clay); 
Generations of Resistance (Peter 
Davis); The Black Frontier Series 
(Larry Long); The Spirit of 
Allensworth (Daniel L. McGuire); 
Jazzy Women (Edwin R. Clay) and 
Fannie Lou Hamer (Mississippi 
Authority for Educational Televi- 
sion). For more info, contact: NBPC, 
700 Bryant Road, Suite 135, Colum- 
bus OH 43215. 

gallery exhibitions at the NYC 
Department of Cultural Affairs: non- 
profit and community-based organi- 
zations engaged in the arts in NYC 
are invited to submit exhibition pro- 
posals. For February 1, 1982, submit 
by October 1. For more info: Depart- 

ment of Cultural Affairs, New York 
NY 10019. 

FILM CENTER offers free film 
reference and other services for 
educators, training directors, and 
film users. For info, contact: 
Stephen C. Johnson, Coordinator of 
Marketing & Public Relations, Univ. 
of IL, 1325 South Oak St., Cham- 
paign IL 61820, (217) 333-1360. 

nounces recipients of 10 grants for 
film and video documentaries over 
PBS: Les Blank for Pclicula O 
Muerte; Reginal Brown for I 
Remember Beale Street; Beth Ferris 
for Next Year Country; Steven 
Fischler, Joel Sucher and Jane 
Praeger for Cancer War; Richard 
Kotuk and Ara Chekmayan for 
Children of Darkness; Ken Levine 
for Becoming American; Stefan 
Moore and Claude Beller for Trouble 
on Fashion Avenue; Richard 
Schmiechen for Nick Mazzuco: 
Biography of an Atomic Vet; Sharon 
Sopher for On the Wrong Side of 
Africa; and Gordon Quinn and Jerry 
Blumenthal for The Last Pullman 
Car. For more info: Michael 
Shepley, WNET/13, 356 West 58 St., 
New York NY 10019, (212) 560-3012, 

is continuing its highly successful 
Public Service Communications 
program for a second year. The pro- 
gram helps non-profit organizations 
in the Minneapolis area to promote 
services and activities. For info: 
UCV, 425 Ontario SE, Minneapolis 
MN 55414, (612)376-3333. 

Student Grant Program Deadline: 
July 15. Contact: Richard M. 
Blumenberg, College of Communi- 
cations and Fine Arts, Southern 
Illinois University at Carbondale, 
Carbondale IL 62901. (618} 453-2365. 



WHMM-TV. Resumes should be 
sent to: Avon Killion, WHMM-TV, 
Howard University, 2600 Fourth St. 
NW, Washington DC 20059, (202) 
636-6096. 21 


SION NETWORK looking for ap- 
plicants to fill positions of 
Associate Executive Director for 
Operations, and Producer/Director. 
Contact: Sid Webb, Director of 
Creative Services, KET, 600 Cooper 
Dr., Lexington KY 40502, (606) 

seeking applicants for position of 
Assistant or Associate Professor. 
Contact: Dr. K.S. Sitaram, Depart- 
mental Executive Director, Depart- 
ment of Radio-Television, Southern 
Illinois University, Carbondale IL 

WORK WANTED: Looking for work 
as either filmmaker's apprentice or 
production assistant. Will graduate 
college in May and be ready for any 
work. Write: James Klein, 12 East 88 
St., New York NY 10028. 

perienced film editor and matcher. 
Call: (212) 982-6993. 

Please call: Paul Tomasko, (212) 

film and video. Experienced com- 
poser. Rates fair. Call: (212) 

FILM? Veteran composer of 2 Off- 
Off Broadway productions and 2 
films seeks filmmaker for collabora- 
tion. Incidental music, songs and 
adaptations. Call: Steve Lockwood 
after 6 pm, (212)666-8817. 


Fuse, 31 Dupont St., Toronto, 
Ontario M5R 1V3, Canada; Cinema 
Politique, 20 Boulevard de I'Hopital, 
75005 Paris, France; Circuits, 307 
Ouest Rue Ste-Catherine, Montreal, 
Quebec H2X 2A3, Canada. 

TELEVISION by Kenneth G. O'Bryan 
now available for novice and 
moderately experience script- 
writers, $5 each. Orders less than 
$20 must be prepaid; make checks 
payable to NAEB. Send orders to 
Publications Sales, Public Telecom- 


munications Institute, 1346 Connec- 
ticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 

Mapp, $17.50. Scarecrow Press Inc., 
PO Box 656, Metuchen NJ 08840. 

MOVING IMAGE, a new magazine to 
be published in September, current- 
ly seeks contributors to special sec- 
tion, Hot Shots: profiles of people in 
video and film. Contact: Susan R. 
Keller, Assistant to the Publisher, 
Sheptow Publishing, 609 Mission 
Street, San Francisco CA 94105, 
(415) 543-8020. 

SIGHTLINES magazine reports on 
work in progress, festival awards 
and grants won, showcase and TV 
screenings of/by independents. 
Send information to: Judith Trojan, 
Sightlines, EFLA, 43 West 61 St., 
New York NY 10023. 

nationally-distributed quarterly jour- 
nal for tenant organizers and hous- 
ing activists. Independents are en- 
couraged to send news of any work 
on displacement, tenant and neigh- 
borhood issues to: Shelterforce, 380 
Main St., East Orange NJ 07018. 


Best Boy with Tom McDonough, 
photographer & designer for the 
film, July 27, Port Washington 
Public Library, New York. For info: 
Documentary Films Inc., 159 West 
53 St., New York NY 10019. 
PRESENTS works from the 7th An- 
nual Ithaca Video Festival to be 
screened at Media Study, buffalo 
NY (Aug. 3-14); Long Beach Museum 
of Art, Long Beach CA (Aug. 5-Sept. 
6); Port Washington Public Library 
(Aug. 17-Aug. 22). For info: IVP, 328 
East State St., Ithaca NY 14850, 
(607) 272-1596. 

screen works bv 

Ira Schneider & Beryl 
Korot, Crane Davis, Peter Crown, 
Bill Etra (June 23, 8 pm); Downtown 
Community Television (June 24, 3 
pm); Marjorie Keller, Gail Vachon 
(June 24, 8 pm); Bruce Conner (June 

25, 10 pm); Vito Acconic (June 27 & 
28, 8 pm). For more info: AFA, 80 
Wooster St., New York NY 10012, 
(212) 226-0010. 

screen works by Ira Schneider and 
Beryl Korot (The Fourth of July in 
Saugerties); Crane Davis (The Arc of 
Civilization, Part VII); Peter Crown 
and Bill Etra &The Tube and Eye) — 
all on June 23; and works by Down- 
town Community Television (Health 
Care. Your Money or Your Life) and 
the Documentary Division of KUTV, 
Salt Lake City (Clouds of Doubt) — 
all of June 24. June 23 program will 
begin at 8 pm, June 24 program at 3 
pm. For more info, contact: EAI, 84 
Fifth Ave., New York NY 10011, (212) 


Video Data Bank of over 400 3 A" 
videotapes which focus on art and 
the humanities, and a collection of 
works by independent artists/pro- 
ducers, including Hermine Freed, 
Ed Rankus, Stuart Pettigrew, Irwin 
Tepper and William Wegman. Con- 
tact: SOTAIOC, Columbus Dr. at 
Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60603. 

THIRD AVENUE: Only the Strong 
Survive was awarded two Emmys: 
for Jon Alpert's electronic camera 
work, and for John Godfrey, Jon 
Alpert and Keiko Tsuno's editing. 
For more info: Betsy Vorce, PBS, 
(212) 753-7373. 

of The Independents, has launched 
major fundraising campaign for the 
purpose of expanding operations 
and increasing promotion efforts on 
behalf of independently produced 
film and video. For more info: IFV- 
DC, PO Box 6060, Boulder CO 
80306, (303) 469-5234. 

PBS WILL START a weekly critique 
of the news business calied Inside 
Story, with Hodding Carter as com- 
mentator. Please submit instances 
of abuses or problems you have or 
observe with press and broadcast 
news, especially systemic problems 
but also isolated failures and suc- 
cesses. Write: Gary Gilson, Inside 
Story, One Lincoln Plaza, New York 
NY 10023, (212) 595-3456. 

Your Short Film Could Play in Theatres Across the U.S.A. 


The~National Endowment for the Arts 
Short Film Showcase Round V — a 
program for the distribution of short films 
to commercial theatres, administered by 
the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film, Inc. (FIVF) 

Since 1978, 19 Showcase films have been 
seen by 15,000,000 movie-goers in 
theatres throughout the country. 


Each filmmaker whose work is selected 
will receive an honorarium of $3,000 and 
will supervise the 35mm blow-up of his or 
her film. Filmmakers with multiple entries 
will be eligible for a single award and the 
inclusion of only one film in the program. 

Films have included: 
Jordan Belson's LIGHT, Aviva Slesin's A 
Davidson's 100 WATTS 120 VOLTS, Eliot 
Noyes Jr.'s SANDMAN. 

Jurors invited to select films have 


Hall Ashby, Jaime Barrios, 

Francis Ford Coppola, Molly 

Haskell, Lynne Littman, Frank 

Mouris, Michael Schultz, 

Martin Scorsese and Ted Timreck. 

You Are Eligible For This 
Program of High Quality Short 
Films if You: 

• are an American citizen or permanent 

• control the U.S. theatrical rights 

• have cleared all performance rights and 
your film: 

— was completed in 16mm or 35mm 

— runs 10 minutes or less including 
titles and end credits 

— is not already in 35mm theatrical 

— will qualify for an MPAA rating of G 

Entry Instructions: 

Up to 3 films may be submitted for entry 
and each must be: 

• a composite print mounted on a reel 

• shipped in a regulation film case 

• marked with film title and name of 
filmmaker on reel, leader and shipping 

• sent prepaid and insured (by entrant) 
and must-contain a return mailing label 
and check or money order payable to 
FIVF in the amount of $3.00 to cover 
return shipping costs. 

No Improperly Packaged Films 
Will be Accepted 

Films are submitted at owner's own risk. 
Receipt will only be acknowledged if 
entrant encloses either U.S. Postal form 
#3811 (Return Receipt) (insured or 
registered en route to New York) or 
self-addressed stamped envelope or card. 

Send Films to: 

Short Film Showcase 

625 Broadway-9th Floor 
New York, NY 10012 

Entry Deadline: 

November 2, 1981 


Showcase winners will be notified and all 
other films returned by February 28, 1982. 

Entry Form 

I have read and accept the above 
conditions and state that I am the principal 
filmmaker for the film(s) entered in my 
name, that I have all rights of publication 
to the film(s) and that the content of the 
film(s) does not infringe upon the rights of 


. Zip Code^ 

. Phone and Area Code_ 

Title(s) of film(s)_ 

Running TimefsL 

.Color □ B'W □ Date(s) completed.. 

I learned about SFS through_ 

Sign here_ 

FIVF is a national service organization dedicated to the growth ot independent video and dim 



^ > "n 

10 _ 











Film and Video monthly 






H i 



1 1 



IP?*— " 




Traditionally, a lab con- 
cerns itself with the quality of 
a film image after exposure. 
But it cannot process a fuzzy 
image into a sharp one. 
A systematic assessment of 
the camera and lens before 
exposure would seem a natural 
extension of the lab's abiding 

An examination of your 
lens and camera on our Collimator Bench will reveal errors in focal 
plane and flatness of field, and ascertain visual resolution, contrast, and 
optimum F-Stop range. 

Additional focus and registration tests can be shot at our facilities 
(you supply the raw stock, we will process free), and well spend time with 
you projecting and analyzing the results. 

Call David Leitner at (212) PL7-4580 to set up a time for your eval- 
uation. Call or write for a free copy of our "CINEMATOGRAPHERS 
LABORATORY GUIDE" explaining our camera and lens evaluation 
and other services for the Cinematographer. 


245 West 55th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 (212) PL7-4580 


I Independent 

VOL 4 NO. 5 


THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the Foun- 
dation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 625 Broadway, 
9th Floor, NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, A federal agency. Subscription is included in member- 
ship to the organization. 

Editor: Bill Jones 
Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 
Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 

Dee Dee Halleck 
Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

John Rice 

Barbara Turrill 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; 
Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Alan Mitosky, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Louise Zimmerman, Short 
Film Showcase Administrative Assistant; John Rice, Media 
Awareness Project Director; Barbara Turrill. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 

BUSINESS by Mitchell Block 4 

INSURANCE, How much do you need? 

by Dennis Reiff 5 


Super 16 by D.W. Leitner 7 


by Ardele Lister and Bill Jones 9 

MEDIA CLIPS by John Rice 17 

Cover: OUT OF HAND, a film by Ericka Beckman 

This summer issue of THE INDEPENDENT covers 
the months of August and September. The next 
regular issue will appear in early October 1981. 


Mr. H. Carl McCall June 15, 1981 

Senior Vice President 

Metropolitan Division 


Dear Mr. McCall: 

By this time last year, solicitation for the season's INDEPEN- 
DENT FOCUS series had already begun. This year, Liz Oliver's 
departure and the station's unexplained delay in beginning 
the solicitation process has raised serious questions about 
WNET's intentions concerning INDEPENDENT FOCUS. We 
believe that there is every reason to continue the series: 

1. INDEPENDENT FOCUS, more than any other series aired 
or produced by THIRTEEN, reflects the diversity of the com- 
munity that this public licensee serves. FOCUS selections 
have dealt with the black and Hispanic community, issues of 
labor history, drug treatment, nuclear energy, and other mat- 
ters rarely explored even on public television. 

2. INDEPENDENT FOCUS has been critically acclaimed as 
"precisely the type of project that public television should be 
cultivating vigorously" (John O'Connor, THE NEW YORK 
TIMES, 4/26/81), and "one of the most interesting series in 
sight on home screens." (Richard F. Shepard, THE NEW 
YORK TIMES, 2/1/80). INDEPENDENT FOCUS selections have 
also received such awards as the Columbia-Dupont award for 
broadcast journalism (WITH BABIES AND BANNERS) and 
have been nominated for Academy Awards (A JURY OF HER 

3. The importance of FOCUS to WNET's viewers is more 
than symbolic: FOCUS has earned consistently high ratings in 
its regular Sunday night berth. These ratings have increased 

from season to season as viewers have come to expect and 
look forward to the series. Average FOCUS ratings have been 
higher than Dick Cavett, Masterpiece Theatre reruns, and 
other late night programming on THIRTEEN. In short, the 
viewers want INDEPENDENT FOCUS. 

4. Having drawn about 300 submissions by independent pro- 
ducers for just over two dozen slots last season, INDEPEN- 
DENT FOCUS has provided WNET with a continuing source of 
exposure to current independent work that has nourished the 
station's general schedule and promoted cooperation with 
local producers. Furthermore, the peer panel review process 
has offered a democratic structure to sift and select FOCUS 
submissions, making the schedule even more responsive to 
the needs of the community. 

On behalf of the 750 independent producers in the New York 
Metropolitan area represented by AIVF, I would like to meet 
with you at your earliest convenience to discuss the future of 
INDEPENDENT FOCUS. Lillien Jiminez, Program Coordinator 
of the Film Fund and Michael Goldberg, Director of the Inde- 
pendent Feature Project have joined AIVF in its unqualified 
support for the INDEPENDENT FOCUS series and wish to 
meet with you at the same time. Denise Oliver, Executive 
Director of the Black Filmmakers Foundation may also attend. 

I will telephone you later this week to make the necessary 
arrangements. My thanks in advance. 

Very truly yours, 

Lawrence Sapadin 
Executive Director. 

June 18, 1981 Out Of FOCUS? 

Dear Mr. Sapadin: 

Thank you for your letter of June 15th and the opportunity to 
respond to some of your concerns about INDEPENDENT 
FOCUS. I agree with all of your assertations about the value of 
the program to WNET/THIRTEEN and its viewers. I am not 
aware of any thinking on the part of anyone here at Channel 
THIRTEEN to diminish our commitment to the program. I 
believe it is one of our most effective program activities. I am 
particularly impressed with the involvement of film makers in 
the peer panel review process. 

Ms. Oliver's departure should not effect the future of the pro- 
gram. She has left us with a firm foundation. We regret that 
she has decided to pursue other career opportunities. 

I was not aware of the fact that solicitation is taking place 
later than in the past. According to information provided by 
Ms. Oliver we have developed a schedule which calls for the 
solicitation process to begin in July. 

I am looking forward to meeting with you and other represen- 
tatives of the Association of Independent Video and Film 
Makers on Wednesday, June 24th. At that time we can 
elaborate on the issues concerning INDEPENDENT FOCUS 

and I can hear your thoughts and suggestions about how we 
can improve the quality of this programming. 

H. Carl McCall 


I've got to admit it. Although, in the past, AIVF has meant only 
one thing to me (a newsletter which ALWAYS came at least a 
month late), it now appears positive changes are taking place. 
My newsletter comes on time. I receive actual minutes from 
Board meetings and wonder of wonders, I even got to vote! 
Plus, a chance at health insurance too? I am totally im- 
pressed. If you can handle my latest change of address, I will 
be ecstatic. 

Sincerely yours, 

John Velie 
734 Gelston Rd. 
Berkeley, Ca. 94705 



0¥©^ILL Wo !L(Qffl 

Bob Brodsky and Toni Treadway: 

Bob Brodsky and Toni Treadway are independent filmmakers 
living in Boston. Treadway is on the Board of Boston Film/ 
Video Foundation and writes for Filmmakers Film and Video 
Monthly with Bob Brodsky. Both make films in Super-8. This 
summer they will be teaching a course in Super-8 Filmmaking 
at the Summer Institute on the Media Arts, which is now in its 
eleventh year. (Contact Leslie Moat, SUmmer Program Office, 
Hampshire College, Amherst MA 01002 for more information.) 
Their three-weel course should be of interest to filmmakers, 
teachers and students, for Brodsky and Treadway are doing 
things on Super-8 that we thought could only be done on ex- 
pensive 16mm equipment. Their newest film John Lindquist, a 
finalist at the American Film Festival in the Performing Arts 
category, is a stunning Super-i film blown to 35mm and reduc- 
ed to 16mm! The %" version looks as good as anything we 
have seen on %" transferred from 16mm. 

Brodsky and Treadway are on to something. Clearly, if some 
kinds of films can be done on 8mm instead of 16, producers 
could save money. We understand from Brodsky that the 
Canadian Film Board has a number of documentary films in 
Super-8. Brodsky and Treadway have a Super-8 to %" film 
chain that provides first-class transfers of cut Super-8 and an 
8-track mixing facility. Their philosophy includes using off- 
the-shelf equipment to work on, so all of the items they use 
for making synch-sound Super-8 looked familiar. I understand 
all of it is less expensive than a 16mm synch rig. Using 
Super-8 has disadvantages compared to 16mm or video, but 
Treadway and Brodsky have a system that works for uses 
ranging from ethnographic films to serious documentaries 
and fiction films. Their course begins Junr 14 and ends July 3. 

1981 AECT National Convention 

AECT stands for the Association for Educational Communica- 
tions and Technology. Their convention, held in Philadelphia 
last April 6-10, for the first time had a number of independent 
film/videomakers represented. This was possible in part 
because of some organizing work done by Larry Dlingman of 
The Little Red FilmHouse in Los Angeles. Klingman put 
together five distributors of independent films in three 
booths. The distributors included Center for Southern 
Folklore, Appalshop, the Boston Independent Distributors 
Group (represented by Third Eye) and others. Considering that 
the cost of a single booth at AECT is over $650 for an unfur- 
nished 10 by 10 foot space, AECT has priced itself out of the 
reach of most smaller distributors. (Carpets, tables, chairs etc. 
are extra!) Most of the space at the Philadelphia Convention 
Center was filled up by the larger companies in the field. Bell 
and Howell, for example, had over ten booth spaces. Some of 
the large non-theatrical distributors took two and in some 
cases three spaces. 

AECT is one of the larger gatherings of independent film 
buyers that happens during the year. With over 5,000 
registrants this year, it makes most of the other trade shows 
in our field seem small. The AECT management seeked to be 
happy that a number of smaller companies shared space. We 
feel that a lot of the buyers who visited the shared space 
seemed happy to meet and talk with the smaller distributors. 
Clearly, small distributors and independents should continue 
to plan on being involved with AECT in the future. 


How much does on independent producer need? 

by Dennis R. Reiff 

Many independents have only a vague idea of what coverage 
is actually required by law and by contract. 

An insurance broker unlike an agent, does not represent in- 
surance companies. He or she places insurance with com- 
panies of his or her own choosing, based on the client's 
needs. An agent's first responsibility is to the insurance com- 
pany he or she represents. That's an important distinction. 
The only time a broker would act on behalf of an insurance 
company is in the collection of premiums. Payment to the 
broker is payment to the insurance company. 

A broker's knowledge and experience are of value especially 
when a producer calls with that special problem or request 
that requires immediate attention and answers. The broker 
should be familiar with the particular problems of your in- 
dustry in order to ask the right questions, gather the 
necessary information, and coordinate the various items in- 
volved with meeting the producer's goals while being consis- 
tent with the "state-of-the-art" in insurance coverage and risk 

Workers' Compensation & Disability Benefits 

New York State requires all entities with one or more 
employees to have workers' compensation and disability in- 
surance in force. Benefits vary from one state to another. 
Monopolistic states require a special workers' compensation 
policy for any personnel domiciled there. 

For the independent producer shooting in New York State on 
a small budget, the New York State Insurance Fund is an ideal 
market. However, be sure you are incorporated at a New York 
address, from which you issue paychecks to all your 
employees. For example, if a New Jersey or Connecticut cor- 
poration takes out a New York State Fund policy and then 
goes to another state, there is NO coverage under that policy 
in the other states; another workers' compensation policy 
would be required. 

Independent Contractors 

Many producers hire independent contractors as a way to 
avoid having to provide insurance benefits or coverage. 
However, the law here is very gray. Some courts have ruled 
that under certain conditions, the independent contractor is 
an employee and the employer is liable for providing benefits. 
The ideal situation is to write into your contract with the con- 
tractor hold harmless clause and/or ask the contractor for cer- 
tificates of insurance as proof that he or she carries the re- 
quired insurance. When this is not done, the producer should 
make the contractor aware that he or she is to provide his or 
her own insurance benefits. 

Negative Film Insurance and Videotape Insurance 

The next most important insurance is for the film/videotape 
itself, known by the term negative insurance. This insures the 
film/tape for all risks of physical damage, including while in 
transit. The limit is based on the total production cost, and 
coverage starts on the first day necessary and ends upon 
completion of the protection print. 

Faulty Camera Stock and Processing 

Known as faulty insurance, this covers loss resulting from 
faulty raw stock, faulty camera, lenses or related equipment, 

Dennis Reiff is an insurance broker from the New York area. 

or faulty processing by the lab. Coverage starts with the first 
day of shooting and ends with the delivery of the final print. 
The limits here are chosen as necessary and usually represent 
a percentage of the negative limit. This coverage has a deduct- 
ible. Most losses occur within this scope of coverage; for 
example, faulty raw stock or faulty processing by a lab tech- 
nician. Even very experienced editors accidentally erase video- 
tape. Should you lose a day's shooting in the lab, would you 
have the money to make it up? 

Extra Expense 

This would cover additional out-of-pocket expenses for pro- 
duction delays due to damage to equipment, props, sets, 
wardrobes and/or facilities. Can you imagine yourself in some 
remote shooting location when your only electric generator 
fails, or a fire destroys the set? This coverage, written with a 
deductible, can help get you moving again. 

General Liability 

In order to shoot on the sidewalks of New York and most 
other cities you must first have a permit. In New York, before 
it can be issued, you must give the Mayor's Office for Motion 
Pictures & Television a certificate of insurance proving that 
you have general liability insurance with sufficient limits. This 
covers bodily injury or property damage to a third party. 
Coverage should include all contractual obligations, personal 
injury, hired and non-owned automobiles, broad form property 
damage, non-owned watercraft, fire damage liability, 
employees as additional insureds and products/completed 
operations. In short, all your contingencies should be pro- 

You may want to shoot in a museum or a particular home or 
other private location. You would probably be asked to show 
that you have liability insurance. 
Aviation Liabilities 

Should you rent or lease a plane, helicopter or hot air balloon, 
you have a special liability to the public and their property 
arising out of aircraft use. To protect your legal liability, a non- 
owned and hire aircraft policy should be carried, or your 
broker should advise you of alternate means of treating this 

Props, Sets, Wardrobes 

This property coverage is on an all-risk basis for any physical 
damage to props, sets or wardrobes. This coverage is written 
with a deductible. 

Equipment — Cameras, Sound Equipment, Etc. 

An independent filmmaker on a low-budget, short-shoot proj- 
ect will sometimes find it advantageous to rent his or her 
equipment with insurance coverage included in the rental 
agreement. However, if you are of sufficient size to be in- 
volved in many productions, it would then be to your advan- 
tage to carry your own insurance coverage on owned and 
rented equipment. This coverage is written on an all-risk 
basis, worldwide, for direct physical damage, and is written 
with a deductible. 

Be careful, again, when hiring independent contractors. They 
may or may not have insurance for their own equipment. The 
producer should clarify this fact at the outset. Should you be 


legally liable for this equipment, it should be insured. If the in- 
dependent contractor has his or her own insurance, you 
should ask for a certificate of insurance or for a hold harmless 
agreement. Owned equipment should ideally be insured on a 
repair, replacement or agreed-value basis in order to avoid 
haggling should a loss occur. And losses do occur. 

Umbrella Liability 

This coverage is written to provide additional limits in excess 
of existing liability policy limits. It is usually written in one 
million dollar increments with a self-insured retention subject 
to exclusions. The broker should make sure that it acts as ex- 
cess over your general liability and errors and omissions 
liability policies (see below). Umbrella policies are relatively in- 
expensive now, and should be carried for all productions. 

Cast Insurance 

This covers the producer for the increased cost or additional 
expenses resulting from death, sickness or injury to insured 
artist(s). The artists are scheduled, and each would normally 
receive a physical examination. This coverage is written with a 

Errors and Omissions Insurance 

This coverage deals with Libel, slander, invasion of privacy, in- 
fringement, plagiarism, false arrest, detention, wrongful entry 
or eviction, defamation of character; unauthorized use of 
titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, etc. arising out of 
copyright or common law. Policy limits are usually set by con- 
tract or chosen as a prudent business decision. 

Eighty percent of the premium charged on errors and omis- 
sions policies goes for legal and underwriting expenses and 
the balance is for judgments and settlements. Clearance pro- 
cedures are followed by the producer's attorneys and by the 
underwriting company's attorneys, avoiding many potential 
claims. Errors and omission insurance is bought mainly for 
two reasons: 1.) protection against catastrophic judgments or 
settlements, and 2.) for legal defense provisions. Policy provi- 

sions should be reviewed for their treatment of injunctions, 
punitive and exemplary damages, and legal defense. Some 
policies combine legal defense as part of the policy limits; 
others are separate. 

Property in Care Custody and Control 

General liability policies exclude property damage to any 
property in the insured's care, custody or control (CCC). 
Should a producer rent or lease a studio, house or special 
facility, this special legal liability should be covered to 
dovetail with the general liability coverages. 

Risk Management 

This provides an insurance service which departs from the 
traditional broker/client relationship. In treating a risk, there 
may be alternatives to insurance and it may be advantageous 
to develop the alternatives. There may be a situation where 
you have to keep your present broker (he's your brother-in-law 
or your parents' best friends), but you want another's opinion 
and advice with no threat to the existing relationship. That's 
where risk management can be the answer. 

A good risk manager will: 

1. help identify risk 

2. evaluate risk treatment 

3. establish an insurance philosophy 

4. evaluate current insurance for adequacy 

5. gather information 

6. help establish loss prevention techniques for both physical 
and human assets 

7. establish a professional relationship similar to your rela- 
tionship with legal counsel and your accountant. 

Beyond this brief outline, other types of coverage that can be 
important to a producer include employee benefits, accident 
and health, weather insurance, automobile insurance, group 
travel accident, life, wet marine, animal and miscellaneous 
property insurance. In insurance as with anything in this 
world, you get what you pay for. Choose your broker not only 
for the insurance coverage he or she can provide, but also for 
his or her service, expertise and knowledge. 



According to a new research paper written by Chip Shooshan 
and chuck Jackson, compulsory licensing, created by the 
1976 Copyright Act, has forced many producers to stop selling 
programs to broadcasters in efforts to halt uninhibited cable 
carriage of them. The report calls this the only way producers 
can regain control over their product. Such control will 
become even more elusive if the courts uphold the elimination 
by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of distant 
signal and syndicated exclusivity rules. 

Compulsory licensing, intended by Congress to encourage 
cable's growth and broaden viewer choice, really serves to 
limit the program options of viewers without cable. The 
answer, the study concluded, is the elimination of compulsory 
licensing in favor of full copyright liability for cable systems. 
This will allow producers to sell selectively to both broad- 
casters and cable operators in different markets, thus 
creating a "hybrid network." 

The report said that eliminating compulsory licensing — a 
scheme which "frustrates" the development of hybrid net- 
works — would force operators to compete in the open 
market with broadcasters under full copyright liability. And, 
although the cable industry has historically maintained that 
the transaction costs of such a solution would be excessive, 
the Shooshan & Jackson study concluded that the costs "are 
not prohibitively high." Indeed, cable operators already are 
functioning under full liability in some markets; they could 
function in still more tomorrow. While the study conceded 
that Congress must solve what is ultimately a "political" 
question, it suggested that Congress should, at minimum, 
limit compulsory license only to small systems or to selected 
broadcast signals. As an alternative, Congress could mandate 
the development of cable program acquisition brokers to 
reduce transaction costs. 

(Reprinted from Multi-Channel News, June 1, 1981) 


In Focus 


by D.W. Leitner 

Aaton does it. Rank Taylor Hobson does it. Du Art does 
it. They do Super-16mm, and they are enthusiastic. With 
image quality as their #1 priority, they endorse Super-16 
as the 16 to 35mm blow-up format. In Jamaica, Sri 
Lanka, Brazil, Spain, and closer to home, Florida, inde- 
pendent filmmakers are lensing or have wrapped Super- 
16mm feature productions. The streets of New York 
City and the on-location sets of the American Film 
Institute north of Los Angeles are additional sites of 
current Super-16mm activity. More than just a technical 
possibility, Super-16 is a present-day reality. 

How does it fare as a concept? Are its advantages 
primarily technical or budgetary, and who stands to 
benefit? Let's say we want to improve upon an existing 
technology: 16mm cinematography. Starting at square 
one, we design a sharper, faster negative emulsion of 
wide exposure latitude. With the assistance of a com- 
puter we build lenses to more demanding specifica- 
tions, likewise sharper and faster. Lastly we devise 
smaller, quieter cameras, festooning them with digital 
LED displays and other space-age gadgetry. What have 
we accomplished? From its inception as an amateur 
format for home movies, through its adolescence as the 
smaller, less-preferred medium for commercial pur- 
poses, we have created a miniaturized, fully profes- 
sional format for feature film production, spiritually 
in tune with this age of down-scaling and cost- 

But there is a hitch. Distribution in 16 is limiting. Sure, 
there are video and cable outlets, and a network for 
16mm distribution and exhibition exists. But what 
distributor is going to launch a costly, full-scale promo- 
tional campaign for a 16mm print? Simply put, mass 
popular distribution to cinema houses is geared for 35, 
and a 35mm print is the sine qua non for commercial 

Blow-up is the answer, but it introduces a technical 
problem. The boxy shape of the 16mm frame, handed 
down from the silent film era and shared by video, is in- 
compatible with the more oblong, wide-screen dimen- 
sions required for modern theatrical exhibition. In blow- 
up the 16mm image is magnified so that its sides 
match those of the 35mm wide-screen image, but the 
top and bottom of the 16mm frame spill over the 
disproportionately short wide-screen frame. This 
wastes fully 26% of the original image area at an 
aspect ratio of 1.85.* Without further innovation, there 
is no comfortable solution to this undesirable conse- 

Enter European ingenuity. While we heedlessly tooled 
around the sunny countryside in behemoth Olds- 

mobiles and witnessed a competitive escalation in 
Hollywood production costs rivaling the race to the 
moon, scrappy Old Worlders in the grip of economic 
necessity were engineering frugal front-wheel drive 
subcompacts, as well as designing efficient, economiz- 
ing motion picture formats. Of keen interest to them 
was 16, mostly unchanged since its debut in the silent 
film era and long overdue for a rethinking of dimen- 
sions, techniques and attitudes. 

The Europeans understood that the essential difference 
between 16 and 35 is simply one of size. A larger image 
on 16 would narrow the disparity between the two for- 
mats, and a compatibility of aspect ratios would 
facilitate production in the smaller for distribution in 
the larger. 

Considering that all 16mm cameras advance film by 
engaging the perforations along one edge only (making 
the perforations along the opposite edge unnecessary), 
why not extend the image area onto the unused edge 
and fully utilize the 16mm gauge? The happy result is 
an oblong frame that upon blow-up will fit the 35mm 
aspect ratio snugly, with no discarded image. 

Still, it's unlikely that Super-16 could supplant 35. 
Thirty-five will remain the preferred gauge for camera- 
original negative when economically feasible, because 
no blow-up is involved. Blow-up magnifies not only the 
desired image detail, but also grain structure and ac- 
cidental emulsion scratches. In addition, it exacerbates 
unintentional soft focus. Thirty-five yields more image 
detail because of its larger emulsion area, consequent- 
ly allowing greater latitude for errors of focus and ex- 

Since the Super-16mm image, sharing the same shape 
as 35mm wide-screen, extends two silly millimeters 
longer and avoids major cropping in blow-up, it need 
not undergo as great an enlargement as standard 16. 
After cropping, the standard 16mm image offers a 
usable area that is 22% the size of the 35mm image at 
an aspect ratio of 1.85. Super-16 offers 32%: as com- 
pared to approximately one-third, slightly more than 
one-fifth. Another way of expressing this relationship is 
that Super-16 provides 46% more picture area than 
standard 16 for the purpose of blow-up to 1.85. Its 
enlargement ratio of 1.78: 1 in blow-up, compared to 
that of 2.18: 1 for standard 16, represents a significant 
conservation of image quality in the blow-up process, 
with the payoff evident on the theater screen. 

Super-16 costs no more than standard 16 — incredible, 
but true. The raw stock used as camera-original is con- 
ventional 16mm negative with a single row of perfora- 
tions, a stock item from Kodak, Fuji and Agfa-Gevaert. 
It costs the same as the double-row variety. Laboratory 

"Aspect ratio is image width divided by height. The ratio of 1.85 
describes a frame 85% wider than tall and is the American convention 
for non-anamorphic, "flat" wide-screen projection. 

costs, from processing to printing to blowing-up, are 
identical. Cameras are available for rental at the going 
rate for 16mm gear. Although still too scarce, Steen- 
beck and KEM flatbeds equipped for Super-16 are avail- 
able for rental, and popular models can be retrofitted 
with conversion kits or modules at modest expense. 

Super-16 holds out special promise for independent 
cinema. Fairly or not, low-budget independent filmmak- 
ing means one thing to the general public: negligible 
production values, a cheap look. A number of worthy 
recent independent efforts have been needlessly tech- 
nically ragged. If independent cinema is to flourish in 
this country, it must disabuse the public of the notion 
that low-budget amounts to poor "tech credits", as 
Variety puts it. Blowing up 16, stretching its 
capabilities, calls for every bit as much if not more 
technical savvy in production as 35. But the wit and 
tender loving care of informed professionalism, joined 
with the technical innovation of Super-16, can conspire 
to produce a blow-up that will pass for an original 
35mm production, even to trained eyes. 

In light of its enhanced potential for 35mm release, the 
concept of 16 as an intrinsically worthwhile production 
medium merits reappraisal. Sixteen is a more intimate, 
less obtrusive and arguably less alienating means of 
recording the visual world. The larger 35mm camera at 
synch speed carries 1000 feet of film to photograph 10 
minutes. The 16mm camera covers the same length of 
time with a slimmer 400-foot roll. Thus it seems unlikely 
that the 35mm camera could ever be as small and light 
as the 16. 

Nor can the 35 be as inexpensive to run footage 
through. At current prices, that 1000-foot roll of 35mm 
original negative took a $235 bite out of the budget, the 

400 feet of 16 a $54 nibble — not to mention the un- 
equal rental for the 35mm camera, lenses, support 
equipment and crew versus those available for 16. So 
the producer of a feature documentary shooting in 16 
on a tight budget will be more inclined to indulge his or 
her instincts, to keep the camera running on the off 
chance that . . . And the neo-realist director molding 
the performances of amateurs or non-actors can pa- 
tiently film take after take in a relatively inexpensive 

In another part of the world long on talent, if short on 
funds — Scandinavia — production in Super-16mm. 
has been popular for over a decade. Since 1969, by re- 
cent estimage, 20-25% of their feature productions 
have been undertaken in Super-16mm. Plainly, when the 
largest production budget to date totals $3.4 million, 
the economics of their film industry don't encourage 
$40 million box office flops, the parallel to American in- 
dependent, regional cinema is obvious: a surfeit of 
native ability and a scarcity of means. How many of us 
are not just acquainted, but experienced in 35mm.? And 
how many are experienced in 16mm., would like to par- 
ticipate in a 35mm. release, and are available? 
Super-16 cannot be right for everybody. The (approx- 
imately) $20,000 cost of a blow-up must be weighed 
against the economies of 16 in order to justify forgoing 
35 and its attendant advantages. Every situation, every 
mix of resources and requirements is singular. But 
Super-16 will be right for more than a few, for its time 
has clearly arrived. And its natural beneficiary is the in- 

D. W. Leitner is a member of AIVF, an active member of 
SMPTE, and has supervised the optical printing depart- 
ment at Du Art Film Laboratory for the last three years. 
Blow-ups have included Girlfriends, Northern Lights, 
Gal Young Un, and Return of the Secaucus Seven. 


by Peter Belsito 

AIVF and ICAP jointly hosted a meeting on June 1 in the per- 
sons of John Rice and Sandy Mandelberger for Los Angeles 
independent filmmakers. It was held at Magon's, a downtown 
restaurant operated by Chicano filmmaker Rudy Vargas with 
the close support of David Sandoval and Carloe Penichet. 
About 30 independent producers showed for a presentation 
on AlVF's and ICAP's activities and to hear a report on the 
L.A. Cable Convention, at which John and Sandy operated a 

A few things were made clear during the question-and-answer 
session and conversation that followed the presentation. 
First, a large number of independent filmmakers are working 
here in L.A. The community is probably bigger than anywhere 
in the country with the exception of New York. A large and 
varied body of work has been and is being produced. 

An equally true and perpahs more disturbing observation is 
that nowhere is the community of independents less organiz- 
ed than here. For example, some producers do not have the 
knowledge, contacts etc. to sell them. Sandy was able to 


make a number of contacts for ICAP among this category. 

There are a number of historical reasons why New York is the 
center of independent organizational activity and L.A. very 
much in the hinterlands. An obvious factor, but by no means 
the only one, is that L.A. really has a factory town mentality 
regardint TV and film. Another reason (and for those who have 
spent time here, no further explanation is necessary) has to 
do with geography. 

This situation, in light of the hard times a-comin', has 
presented the independent community and particularly its 
organized section (need I be more specific?) with some urgent 
tasks. Not only must our trade organizations, particularly 
AIVF, become more active, but they must also expand their 
activities. There are tremendous resources here in L.A. IFP 
has recently begun to tap some of these, but IFP is a different 
sort of organization from AIVF. Unfortunately it is now the 
only game in town. 

The challenge is clear. Organizing L.A. independents would 
strengthen AIVF immeasureably. It must be done. 

Ericko Beckmon 

From OUT OF HAND, a film by Ericka Beckman 

Ardele Lister and Bill Jones 

To this date Ericka Beckman 's major work has been in super-8 
film. Due to her recent prominance she has been cast as a 
major innovator in that medium, though super-8 for Beckman 
was an expedient short-stop in lieu of more sophisticated, 
more expensive visual technology. Still Beckman is a true in- 
novator not only in super-8 but in larger filmic terms. Ericka 
Beckman is one of the few filmmakers or artists of any sort for 
that matter, to extricate communicable ideas from age old, 
and rather badly manhandled story telling devices. The proof 
of this feat is that when watching Ericka Beckman's films one 
has the sense of specifically knowing what they are about 
even through one can't necessarily say what that is. 
Knowledge is imparted in a new way. The way itself is 
Beckman's own sense of meaning as residing in actions 
rather than codified objects. There is a language of movement 
in which Beckman is most fluent. 

The desire to perform a dissection of the conglomerate of 
form, function, content and idea (what we think of as meaning) 
is not new. A great amount of cutting up has been done over 
the past sixty years, but little coherent putting back together. 
Usually form substitutes for all else and we are left with 
nothing more than the knowledge that we have shared the 
same concept of space as the artist. 

Through her films Ericka Beckman gives us a new way of 
perceiving reality as action and thus allows the viewer to 
codify and make meaning of the material in relation to his or 
her own experience. Each person views the same film but 
sees it differently. This is what art is all about. 

Bill Jones 


BJ: How 






EB: I start with drawings. This procedure began in 1974. I was 
painting from dream imagery, but I found painting terribly 
restrictive, because it was so minimal and formal. So I began 
to experiment by using video to essentially form still images 
of body parts in compositions. Then I photographed the video 

AL: It was a very private use of video. 

EB: Yes, I was developing a personal language and forming 
meaning within it while performing these pieces privately, but 
always with the intent of composing images within the frame. 
I never showed these tapes, but I did photograph them and 
film them so I could edit in the camera. My work began to 
divide between photography and film. The photography drop- 
ped away and the film stayed. 

AL: Do you work directly from the drawings? 

EB: The drawings are very important to the way the films look. 
The style of the drawings changes with each film. They often 
depict the full narrative that I began with and then I cut back 
when shooting the film. In Out of Hand, for example, I began 
with a full story of a family in South America who are forced to 
move from house to house around the periphery of the city. 
They are never allowed into the central city by the military who 
keeps them out for political reasons. There is a young boy 
who sees all the moving around but realizes that things never 
get any better. Because of their position he has to take things 
from the authorities who are not necessarily his friends, but 
he has no other source. Then he goes back to a house that 
once seemed to offer security and searched back through 
some of the old offerings. 

AL: Why didn't you make that story as you describe it? 

EB: No money, no time. So I cut it back and simplified it in a 
way to fit my means. At first I was only interested in the form 
the film took. I didn't think ahead to where they might be 
going. The ideas were small. Now they are large and complex 
and I have to cut them back which makes for the style of the 

BJ: What would you do if you had more resources? 

EB: It's impossible to say now because the ideas are now 
coming up reduced, so the time seems to have passed. 

AL: What's your next film about? 

EB: It's going to be an eight minute film very tied to a musical 
sound track and based on a particular prop, a large wheel 
which is something like a ferris wheel. The story is that there 
is a factory worker on an assembly line who decides to leave 
and make more of his life. The assembly line becomes a ferris 
wheel, then the prop wheel with a pole at the center. He 
begins at the outside of the large wheel and through a number 
of game structures he passes to the center, mounts the pole 
and then becomes the pole. It is a simple metaphor for becom- 
ing more motivated, more directed, more aligned, through the 
playful quality of the games and the ferris wheel. It's not in- 
tended to be a fantasy though, it's a physical film about his 
movement. Through movement and action he transforms his 
spatial situation. It is a simple metaphor acted out, but for me 
the treatment of the metaphor in making the film is most im- 

From OUT OF HAND, a film by Ericka Beckman 


AL: How do you relate to your recent critical acclaim? 

EB: It's awful, haven't you read the things They've been say- 
ing? The whole thing about super-8, like I'm a technical 
wizard. It makes it almost impossible for anyone to see what 
the films are all about. My reason for getting into super-8 was 
because it was available to me with my limited finances. 

BJ: What would you like people to see in your work that is not 
dealt with by critics? 

EB: Non-linear time, the formal aspects of the work. How it 
departs from a formal aesthetic. How it fits with the art of my 
contemporaries in painting and sculpture. 

AL: It's hard to find a writer who can deal with the filmic ideas 
as well as the formal and visual qualities more connected to 
painting and sculpture. 

BJ: Also your work is difficult to classify because it comes 
from more standard story forms but changes the way they are 
told. I think most people think the story and the way it's told 
are the same thing, and that they are inseperable. 

EB: It is difficult, because film seems to denote a certain kind 
of narrative based on the casual so viewers tend to restructure 
the work in relation to more standard narrative conventions. 

BJ: I think your work deals with the splitting of narrative style 
from story or idea. 

EB: Yes, but, in fact it's about putting narrative in a subor- 
dinate stance to a conceptual stance with the material. There 
are ideas in the film I want to stand out above its' narrative 

BJ: Could you talk further about the way you work with the 
camera and how important the drawings are to the film? 

EB: The drawings are very important to the film. For exam- 
ple, I always know by the drawings how I want to set to look 
before I find it. They give me control of the image. 

BJ: The film essentially looks like the drawings, especially 
because of the double exposures and mat techniques. 

EB: The techniques are not only to gain a visual quality like 
painting but to investigate illusion and reality. In my earlier 
films I used mistakes or chance montages of images and ac- 
tions to jump off from, to build on. I let myself be surprised. 
My interest is in creating a cohesive whole out of musical and 
visual elements. 

AL: You are more interested in the whole. 

EB: My position is that the story is subject matter, the treat- 
ment of the subject is art. 

AL: You're not reconstructing reality with the camera. 

EB: Essentially I deal with basic moral themes, stories about 

From OUT OF HAND, a film by Ericka Beckman 

competition, the search, the chase, relationships, play and 
work, but told in a more personal filmic language. People may 
learn the language through the common themes and possibly 
a new way to experience these ideas. 

BJ: Most people relate the notion of reality to a set of stylistic 
conventions. Do you think it's possible to depict reality 
without these cues? 

EB: To me reality is a series of actions rather than a series of 

representations. I chose film because I wanted to build a 
language based on actions. I wanted to strip meaning of its 
object consciousness. That's why I don't use dialogue. I don't 
want to get caught up in a structuring of reality or a coding of 
objects. The verbal structure of the world was just more in- 
teresting to me than the object structure. Still when people 
see my films they often describe the films as full of props and 
objects which isn't really true. They describe things they 
thought they saw that didn't really exist in the film, they are 
drawing things, inferring things from the physical actions, so I 
guess everyone sees, experiences the films differently. 




• Cuts Delivery Time Dramatically 

• Eliminates Hunting for Missing Originals 

• Reduces Human Error 

18 West 45th Street 

Suite 610A 
New York, N.Y. 10036 



Specializing in 
Steenbecks and Kem, all models. 

New York's best prices 
at your place or ours. 

630 9th Ave., N.Y, N.Y. 10036 




PWO>lE -721-229^ 

STEVE GIULIANO ^"^IjJuL^--^ [inwA 


nth HOUR for OtV 

The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers has 
taken a position strongly opposing the public television 
legislation pending in both houses of Congress. The following 

statement was sent, in late May 1981, to all members of the 
House and Senate Subcommittees considering the PTV legis- 
lation, as well as to all AIVF members and the press. 


Public television legislation emerging from Senate and House 
subcommittees has placed the future of public television in 
grave doubt, and would seriously erode the position of in- 
dependent producers in the public television system. 

Earlier this Spring, the Senate and House subcommittees 
drafted legislation that had seemed promising, notwithstand- 
ing severe budget cuts. However, during the mark-up of the 
two bills — the amendment process following subcommittees 
— both bills suffered major reverals which have rendered 
them unsupportable for independent producers, and for 
anyone committed to a public television system worthy of its 


Public television cannot survive as an effective alternative to 
commercial broadcasting at proposed funding levels. 

The funding level of Senate Bill S.720 is absurdly low, amount- 
ing to about a 50% reduction in the budget of an already 
under-funded system. The House Bill H.R. 3238 offers 
somewhat higher funding levels; however they will likely be 
reduced when House and Senate representatives seek to 
reconcile the two bills. 


Increased commercialization will take public TV out of the 
public sector. 

The House bill would open the door wide to the commer- 
cialization of a public television system built by, and sup- 
posedly accountable to, the public. The bill would authorize 
the use of "business or institutional logograms" to identify 
program underwriters, and permit the advertisement of a 
sponsor's "services, facilities, or products." The bill would 
also permit commercial exploitation of public television 

The Senate bill, while less specific, also envisions increased 
commercial activity by local stations. 

Public television programs are supposed to be produced in 
response to the public's needs, not those of commercial spon- 
sors. Yet the availability of explicit commercial sponsorship 

will necessarily influence programming decisions at the sta- 
tion level. Commercialization means decreased public control, 
and decreased access by independents. 


The proposed legislation would erode the position of indepen- 
dent producers. 

The House bill shifts money away from CPB's national pro- 
gram fund toward the stations. Current PTV legislation 
specifically requires that a substantial portion of the national 
program funds be reserved for production by independents. 
By increasing the station share, with no corresponding set- 
aside for independents, the House bill weakens our position 
in the PTV system. In addition, under this bill, the overall 
share of the CPB budget reserved for independent production 
would decline significantly. 

The Senate bill, on the other hand, would leave more money in 
a national program fund, but with no enforceable set-aside for 
independent producers. 





Both bills undermine the representative function of CPB's 
Board of Directors. 

CPB currently has a 15-person Board of Directors selected to 
provide a broad representation of the American viewing 
public. Both the House and Senate bills would make the 
Board less representative of the American people. The Senate 
bill would reduce the number of directors to 9; the House bill 
would place station representatives in 4 of the 15 seats. 




The proposed legislation would represent a serious defeat for 
independent producers and a degeneration of the PTV 


Complete Crystal Controlled Systems 

Arri BL/Nagra 4.2 Package CP16R/Nagra III Package 

includes: 10-100 Zeiss zoom, two mags, two battery 

belts, Sachtler tripod, changing bag and 

recorder with headset and ATN 


includes: 12-120 zoom, handgrip, orientable viewfinder, 
two mags, two batteries, two chargers, NCE tripod, 
changing bag and recorder with headset and ATN 


Full range of 16mm/S8mm and Video 

Production and Postproduction Services available 

Ask about Summer Specials 

Call 673-9361 

Young Film akers/ Video Arts 

4 Rivington Street 
New York City 10002 

Bring this ad to YF/VA and receive a free copy of the Equipment Loan Handbook 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 


16mm & 35mm 



by Amy Greenfield 

The National Video Festival was presented by the American 
Film Institute from June 3 to June 7, 1981 at the Kennedy 
Center in Washington DC, with the sponsorship of the Sony 
Corporation. Most of the main events of the festival were 
presented in the AFI's film theatre. While the selection of 
tapes and categories of panels was far from all-inclusive (leav- 
ing room for a second festival planned for next year), the varie- 
ty of personal styles, techniques and subjects presented 
showed a healthy and welcome committment by the AFI to 
representing the richness and breadth of independent video. 

No less impressive was the successful presentation of the 
festival tapes in the AFI theatre. For most members of the 
audience, including this author, it was the first experience in 
viewing a large-screen color video projection successfully 
presented in a formal film theatre. The AFI theatre seats 224 
people and has a film screen measuring 16.67 feet wide. The 
new Sony video projection system, donated to the AFI by the 
Corporation, turned the film theatre into a video theatre for 
the length of the festival. The image, context and implications 
are exciting. The projector unit hung unobtrusively from the 
ceiling without disrupting the space of the theatre at all. The 
image was projected directly onto the I6V2 foot film screen 
with no alteration in size or configuration of the screen. The 
image was bold, bright and held its color from any seat in the 
house. The successful projection of many kinds of tapes, from 
a work dub in progress by Peter Adair, Some of These Stories 
Are True, to third or fourth generation selections from Jon 
Alpert's DCTV tapes, to the high-contrast theatrical lighting 
and fast switching of Savage/Love by Shirley Clarke and 
Joseph Chaikin, to the complex image and sound processing 
of the new Robert Ashley/John Sanborn tape from Perfect 
Lives (Private Parts), the magnified projection dramatically 
registered a message: video will be seen in the future not only 
on cable and disc but also in small and medium-size film 

Of course the projected video seen at the AFI is as different 
from a film image as it is from a television image. Current 
video technology does not allow projection of the fine-grain 
articulation, range of contrast, richness of color or sensuous- 
ness of texture which film gives. Yet the brilliance and glow of 
the projected video image as it is now is fascinating and im- 
portant in itself, enhancing the immediacy inherent in the 

Will video projection in the future, with improvements in 
cameras, decks, scan line resolution and projection systems, 
provide an economically viable alternative to the costlines of 

film prints? There was a lot of talk at the festival of future 
movie theatres projecting films via satellite hook-ups. I per- 
sonally find it hard to imagine the video image replacing 
dramatic, narrative and many forms of avant-garde film. On the 
other hand, there is now a lively dialectic between film and 
video, with documentary forms particularly interchangeable 
and new forms of video such as the sophisticated visual 
music of the Ashley/Sanborn tape particularly suitable for pro- 
jection. In fact, video-dance forms are truly fulfilled with large- 
screen projection. It seems a sure predi ction that in the 
future, video will be shown in film theatres as well as on TV, 
just as films are now shown on televison as well as in 

One aspect of the AFI projection pinpointed certain 
fascinating ambiguities in the relationship of film and video. 
The video image was placed on a flat screen framed by a 
formal hard-edged film rectangle. The flatness and straight, 
sharp edges of the film frame took away the slight curves of 
the video frame and surface — curves we usually regard as a 
technological necessity, integral to the video image. They 
aren't. This suggests that the soft-edged projected video 
image can in the future become a fine-grained, hard-edged 
image via technological improvements, and still remain video. 

The magnified image, removed from the context of "tele- 
vision", brought up other aesthetic issues. The work which 
held up best, in general, was the independent, non-com- 
mercial work. The subjective involvement with individual 
topics and the dynamic camerawork of Jon Alpert's news 
reportage seemed to the audience far more truthful than the 
obviously rehearsed, programmed delivery and static image of 
the CBS Sunday Morning newscasters. 

The last panel of the festival was on "new markets", 
specifically cable and videodisc. The panel was preceded by a 
compendium of clips of programs newly acquired for both 
markets. These commercial entertainments seemed designed 
to aim at specific audiences, but had neither the popular ap- 
peal of mass media nor the long-term value of much of the 
independent video I saw screened in the AFI theatre. The 
Sony projection again pointed out the difference between the 
formally ill-conceived, if easily marketable, tapes, and the for- 
mally well-conceived works. Given the need for replay capaci- 
ty in the new markets, I believe such formal values will 
become important. As panelist Peter Zeisler, a founder of the 
Guthrie Theatre, said, the communication of the danger and 
life of the theatre doesn't come about from sticking up three 
cameras, but through the kind of thought and skill exhibited in 
such tapes as Shirley Clarke's Savage/Love. 


The Film Society of Lincoln Center is seeking recent 
American features and shorts for its Special Events Series of 
Films of political and social satire to be held September 18-24, 
in connection with the 19th New York Film Festival. 

According to Joanne Koch, Executive Director of the Film 
Society, "At a time when the Establishment is more firmly en- 
trenched than in many years, it seems appropriate to have a 
program of films of social and political satire — films that 
question and probe this Establishment." 

Films suited for the Series must be specifically social and 
political satire in either 16 mm or 35 mm. 

Video cassettes will be accepted for screening purposes only 
(NTSC, PAL or SECAM 3 A inch). Both shorts and features will 
be considered for inclusion in the Series, but all submissions 
must be received by August 1st. 

Those wishing to enter films should contact Sayre Maxfield, 
The Film Society of Lincoln Center, 140 West 65th Street, New 
York, New York 10023; phone (212) 877-1800, x. 494. 



420 LEXINGTON AVENUE, new york.n.y. 10170 

867 -3550 





-Complete Animation 

-Special Effects 
-Title Design 
-Computerized Oxberry 

with Image Expander 

to Independents 

38 East 20 Street 
New York NY 10003 

Film Planning Associates 



years of award winning films 



$32 with operator 

professional training 

and consulting available 

multilevel 3/4" equipment 


Global Village 


Oin £ 
Pan % 


food drinks 

220 W. 49 ST. (B-WAY), N.Y., 



Just what does the independent producer 
want from a motion picture laboratory? 


"Good quality prints Easy access An 

expert film consultant a highly skilled 

timer And. . . .Personal attention. . ." 

-Eliot Noyes, Jr.- 


m West 49th Street 
New York, N.Y. 10019 

Phone Bill Pomerance or Tony Romano 212-247-^770 


Medio Clips 


The proliferation of home satellite antennae raises some 
thorny issues for independent producers. A Homesat consists 
of a parabolic dish, ranging in size from 10 to 20 feet in 
diameter, and a package of sophisticated electronics capable 
of picking up hundreds of TV channels from the numerous 
communications satellites now hovering over the continent. 
The Homesat's average price is $4-6,000. Due to a peculiarity 
of the communications law, it's all quite legal for anyone to 
pick up signals off the satellite. Fourteen new companies 
were seen at the Consumer Electronics Show. For consumers 
it sounds great; but how will producers be able to get paid for 
their programming? 


The Federal Communications Commission has issued a pro- 
posal to deregulate domestic satellite resale, arguing that the 
market is sufficiently competitive. This would mean the end to 
the first-come, first-served rate regulation currently in effect 
and would inevitably push up the prices of satellite time. The 
National Cable TV Association's comments claim that 
microwave carriers are monopolies and that deregulation 
would not result in the availability of more transponders. 
Already, major media conglomerates Time, Inc. and 
Westinghouse have positioned themselves for major expan- 
sion by purchasing satellite transponders. Time is purchasing 
6 transponders on Hughes Galaxy I, which will be launched in 
1983. Westinghouse has bought/leased 10 transponders from 
Western Union. Ironically, now that independent producers 
are beginning to offer their diverse programming via direct 
satellite brokerage, the cost may soon be prohibitive. AIVF is 
now formulating comments that will underscore the difficulty 
that smaller independent program suppliers will face if 
reasonable transponder allocation procedures are not in 


Old and new pay-cable networks are announcing plans for ex- 
panding their schedules. HBO, and its tier, Cinomax, as well 
as Showtime and Movie Channel will now all be 24-hour ser- 
vices. Rockefeller Center TV has projected a 1982 launch with 
$25,000,000 capital investment for their 
"entertainmenf-oriented programming. The UTV Cable Net- 
work is a new basic service that will emphasize "viewer in- 
volvement" programming ranging including how-to and other 
special interest programs. Bravo will now be a seven-day ser- 
vice and is said to be concentrating on co-productions. CBS 
Cable has reannounced an October start, with their mixed bag 


of cultural programming, but has not actually been cleared by 
the FCC to buy domestic independent productions. 

Dissecting the PR myths from the reality of many of these ser- 
vices is critical for independents seeking production financ- 
ing or acquisition. Independents might be advised to seek par- 
tial co-financing or finishing funds at this stage in cable 


Where have all the diversity and localism gone? Governor 
Carey has introduced legislation to deregulate cable TV in 
New York State, limiting access channels and local regulation 
severely. Another bill has been introduced in the state 
assembly to permit cable operators to censor material on ac- 
cess channels that they consider potential offensive violence, 
obscenity, indecency or profanity. At present the law provides 
that no cable television company "may prohibit or limit" any 
programs on leased, public access or educational channels. 
Advocates of the change contend that it would confer on 
cable system operators no more power than that currently 
used by broadcasters or newspapers, while opponents see it 
as a wedge that could lead to censorship of political content 
with which the cable operator might disagree. 


The former Haaren High School on Tenth Ave. and 58th St. in 
New York is being transformed into the "largest audio-video- 
film facility of its kind in the east." 

Metropolis Studios will offer a complete communications 
complex, including an 800-seat theatre to be used for live and 
taped broadcasts as well as feature filmmaking. The VAST, a 
video-audio-shooting studio, will be located on the bottom 
level of the facility. Behind it will be a 55 by 70-foot stage with 
a eye for more traditional TV and commercial production. 

There will be two video-audio-recording-mixing suites with 45 
by 50-foot stages for totally interfaced simultaneous video 
and digital audio recording. Among the postproduction ser- 
vices to be available will be computerized video editing, film 
editing, telecine with color correction, audio sweetening, 
35mm/16mm and video screening rooms, dubbing rooms, 
rehearsal and dressing rooms. 

The complex's tenants will include video, audio and film pro- 
duction companies, set and wardrobe designers, animation 
and special effects companies, equipment companies and 
support services such as a gourmet restaurant, health spa, 
travel agency and limousine service. 


Nine new winners for this year's Short Film Showcase were 
recently selected by screening panels from a national field of 
300 entries. Filmmakers who will receive honoraria for the 
1980 competition are Andy Aaron of California for STREET 
SCENE, John Canemaker of New York for CONFESSIONS OF 
A STAR DREAMER, Donna Deitch of California for GREAT 
WALL OF LOS ANGELES, George Griffin of New York for IT'S 
AN O.K. LIFE, Randal Hoey of California for RIPE STRAWBER- 
RIES, Caroline Leaf of Montreal for THE METAMORPHOSIS 
OF MR. SAMSA, Patrick Melly of California for THE JUG- 
GLING MOVIE, Tom Schiller of New York for JAVA JUNKIE 
and Larry Hankin of California for SOLLY'S DINER. 

Each filmmaker receives a $3,000 honorarium for the Arts En- 

dowment and supervises the blow-up of his or her film. 

Serving on the pre-screening panel were filmmakers Jaime 
Barrios, jan Saunders, Maureen Selwood and John Wise. The 
final panel was composed of independent filmmakers Renne 
Cho, Moctezuma Esparza and Carol Lawrence, director Hal 
Ashby, exhibitor Ted Pedas of Circle Theatres, Washington, 
DC and industry executives Larry Leshansky of Warner Bros., 
Lynne Liftman of ABC-TV and Max E. Youngstein of Taft Inter- 
national Pictures. 

The next annual competition will also offer an honorarium of 
$3,000. An entry form with particulars appears in this issue of 
The Independent. Additional forms are available at the AIVF 
office. All AIVF members and friends are urged to apply. 


AIVF Forum 

As independent video and filmmakers, we are entering 
a difficult and challenging period. Many of the tradi- 
tional funding sources for independent work are rapidly 
shrinking, while the costs of production continue to 

Independents are being confronted by many difficult 
questions of policy and practice, upon which their abili- 
ty to survive as independents depends. 

Now, more than ever, we must join together for mutual 
support and assistance. At the same time, however, we 
must be prepared to test the policies and directions of 
the AIVF through vigorous and honest debate. 

With this in mind, The Independent has dedicated 
this section to the presentation and discussion of 
questions of policy within AIVF and within the indepen- 
dent community as a whole. 

Members are invited to submit their views and 
responses to the Editor of The Independent. 



Tom Moore, the man credited with gutting public affairs pro- 
gramming for public television, is the head of a committee to 
find a new president for the troubled Corporation for Public 

Moore, former president of ABC News, was appointed to the 
CPB Board in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. Recent 
Freedom of Information Act requests by the Carnegie Com- 
mission on the Future of Public Broadcasting revealed 
Moore's pledge to Nixon. From his inside power position, 
Moore told Nixon he would get CPB out of public affairs pro- 
gramming if Nixon would promise two years of funding for 
CPB. Within a week after Nixon okayed the sell-out, CPB 
decided "programs involving news and analysis and political 
commentary will have a low funding priority." Thus a major 
service to the public was sabotaged. 

Why was Moore chosen this time around to lead the new 
presidential search? CPB Board people are reported to say it 
is because they like working with him. Other reports suggest 
it is because the financially imperiled CPB hopes Moore can 
bail them out again. In Access magazine, Sam Simon of the 
National Citizens' Committee on Broadcasting speculated 
that Moore's new role is a signal to the Reagan Administration 
that it can "view public broadcasting as part of the new 

Robert Richter 

Kathy Kline 

Board Members 


The members of AIVF have just elected 5 new Board 
members. Three are repeaters. Two are brand new. The 
results, in descending order of votes received, were: 

Kathy Kline (re-elected) 

Pablo Figueroa (re-elected) 

Judy Irola 

Rich Schmiechen 

Jane Morrison (re-elected) 

Manny Kirchheimer 
Matt Clarke 
Cara DeVito 



The AIVF/FIVF Board met on June 2, 1981. The complete 
minutes are available from FIVF. The highlights of the 
meeting were as follows: 

Short Film Showcase Director Alan Mitosky reported that the 
Showcase budget may be cut by about $60,000 to about 
$100,000. This amount would permit the continuation of SFS's 
distribution program, but could require cutting back competi- 
tions for new material to alternate years instead of annually. 
SFS will be seeking additional funds from industry sources. 

Editor of THE INDEPENDENT, Bill Jones, chronicled for the 
new Board THE INDEPENDENT'S evolution from newsletter to 
magazine format. Recent developments include the sale of 
advertising and local distribution. THE INDEPENDENT is cur- 
rently in need of an intern to assist in production and editorial 
work. The Board resolved that the nature and purpose of THE 
INDEPENDENT would not be changed for the sole purpose of 
attracting non-member readership. 

Director Lawrence Sapadin reported that AIVF has taken a 
position officially opposing all pending public television 
legislation. Both the House and Senate bills would allow for 
greater commercial influence on programming and diminish 
the role of independent producers in the PTV system. 

AIVF has reserved a place on the July 23 CPB Board meeting 
agenda to make recommendations with respect to Program 
Fund policy and practice. 

With respect to budget cuts in the National Endowments 
Assistant Director Wendy Lidell reported that AIVF would try 
to establish a relationship with friendly members of the Presi- 
dent's Task Force, and was coordinating efforts with the 
national Alliance of Media Arts Centers (NAMAC). 

AIVF thanks Governor and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller IV 
for their generous contribution to the Association. 




FOR SALE: 4 pairs rewinds, 2 Filmo 
16mm Bell & Howell viewers, 16/35 
reels & packing cases by the dozen. 
Call: (212) 966-4600. 

FOR SALE: 16mm projector EIKI 
860, 16mm Beaulieu R16, 12-120 
ANG filters, 2 mags 200', 2 
chargers, metal case. 16mm Canon 
Scoopic, filters, metal case, 
charger, NCE hydrofluid head, hi- 
hat, triangle, dolly triangle. 16mm 
Moviola editing machine (motor 
driven SYN), viewer 3 TRK, sound. 
Mini-Pro, stand, barn doors, scrim, 
extra items with most equipment. 
Call: Bob after 7:30 pm, (201) 

camera, BVU 100 VTR w/camera- 
man. $125. Call: (212) 982-2627. 

FOR SALE: Sony 3400 portapak 
deck (V2 " b/w) with AC box and RF 
unit. Excellent condition, $250. Call: 

FOR SALE: Canon zoom lens 
18-108mm. Fast f 1.6. If you're stuck 
with a Sony 1600 or 1610 camera, 
this lens will greatly improve your 
image. Original cost $900; asking 
$400, negotiable. In excellent condi- 
tion. Call: (212)233-5851. 

FOR RENT: Substantial discounts. 
ARRI 16SR package complete. 2 
mags, 3 batteries, variable speed 
control, finder extender, Bellows 
matt box, shoulder pad, 10-150 
Angenieux zoom lens, 9, 16, 25 
super speeds, all filters, O'Connor 
50D Head, legs, baby legs, high hat, 
lights. Call: (212) 787-5715. 

FOR SALE: Panasonic VHS home 
video recorder, excellent condition. 
$675. Call: (212) 925-9605. 

FOR SALE: 35mm film production 
package. Arri 35mm camera with 
Angenieux zoom lens, prime lenses, 
extra magazines, 3 motors, 35mm 
Moviola picture head with reel arms, 
synchronizers, viewers, sound 
reader and quartz lights. All in ex- 

cellent condition and good value. 
Call: (212) 879-0990 for single unit or 
total package price. 

film and video. Experienced com- 
poser. Rates fair. Call: (212) 

EXPERT Steenbeck repair. Please 
call: Paul Tomasko, (212) 799-7973. 

FILM? Composer of off-off Broad- 
way productions and films, seeks 
filmmaker for collaboration. In- 
cidental music, songs and adapta- 
tions; documentaries and features. 
Call: Steve Lockwood after 6 pm, 
(212) 666-8817. 

ATELIER STUDIOS offers an alter- 
native to the other production 
studios. Located in a complex of 
brownstones, facilities include 
stage, dressing rooms, control 
rooms, sound library, editing rooms, 
screening rooms and offices. For 
more info: Chris Messiter, (212) 

CONFORMING to specifications. 
16mm. Good prices, references. 
Call: (212) 982-6993, leave message. 

Janice Tanaka (School of the Art In- 
stitute of Chicago); Wai Chen (DCTV 
in New York); Peter Bull and Alex 
Gibney (Univ. of CA/San Diego); 
Thomas G. Musca (UCLA); and Paul 
I. Meyers (Hampshire College, 
Amherst, MA). For more info: AFI, 
JFK Center for the Performing Arts, 
Washington DC 20566, (202) 


tional conference exploring the 
potential of the arts and cable 
television, will be held Nov. 8-9 in 
Minneapolis. For more info: Pat 
Brenna, University Community 
Video, 425 Ontario St., Minneapolis 
MN 55414, (602) 376-3333. 

ference, July 30-Aug. 2, will be held 
in Durango CO. For more info: 
NFCB, 1315 14th St. NW, 
Washington DC 20005, (202) 

offers monthly consultation clinics 
for producers. Topics will cover all 
phases of independent production 
from proposal writing to distribu- 
tion. For info, contact: BAVC, 2940 
16th St., Rm 200, San Francisco CA 
94103, (415) 861-3282. 

video workshops: July 24-26 (in 
Woodstock NY, at Media Bus) and 
July 31-Aug. 2 (in NYC with Dena 
Crane to produce video portraits). 
Classes are limited to 5. For more 
info: (212) 757-4220. 

TURE PRODUCTION: Business and 
Financial Update Seminar 

presented by UCLA Extension, Sat. 
July 25, 9 am-4 pm, Century Plaza 
Hotel, Century City, Los Angeles 
CA. For more info: UCLA Extension, 
PO Box 24901, Los Angeles CA 
90024, (213)825-1901. 

MING will explore opportunities in 
the new video distribution systems 
— videocassette, videodisc and pay 
TV. Sat. Aug. 22, 9 am-4 pm. Century 
Plaza Hotel, Century City, Los 
Angeles CA. For more info: UCLA 
Extension, PO Box 24901, Los 
Angeles CA 90024, (213) 825-1901. 

is now offering both basic and ad- 
vanced workshops on a regular 
basis. The basic workshop, design- 



ed for beginners, will begin the first 
Monday of each month. Advanced 
workshops will start on the first 
Tuesday. For more info: ACTV, PO 
Box 1076, Austin TX 78767. 

nounces a Television Editing 
Workshop, July 30-31. This inten- 
sive workshop covers set-up, opera- 
tion and maintenance for video pro- 
duction intended for broadcast, 
time-base correction and post- 
production techniques. Contact: 
Ralph Busch, SVC, 103 College PL, 
Syracuse NY 13210, (315) 423-3100. 

an educational organization design- 
ed to give career planning and job- 
hunting information to those in- 
terested in working in the film in- 
dustry, will be holding the following 
seminars: Sat. Aug. 1 — The Cast 
You Don't See on the Screen; Sun. 
Oct 4 — Women: Moving Up in 
Movies & Television; and Sat. Dec. 5 
— WHo Hires in Hollywood. For 
more info: FOMP, 1888 Century 
Park East, Suite 10, Los Angeles CA 
90067, (213) 556-3000. 

NAEB Public Telecommunications 
Institute has scheduled workshops 
on writing for instructional TV, to be 
held in Sacramento (July 9-11); St. 
Louis (July 30-Aug. 1); Atlanta (Aug. 
20-22); and Baltimore (Sept. 17-19). 
For more info: Chris Kinstler, PTI/ 
NAEB, 1346 Connecticut Ave. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 

the Arts' Department of Cinema 
Studies offers programs in film 
criticism, history, and aesthetics 
that lead to the BFA, MA and PhD. 
For info: School of the Arts, NYU, 
400 South Bldg., Washington 
Square, New York NY 10003, (212) 

MEDIA BUS is offering workshops 
in September with Joel Gold (Film 
and Video Production, Sept. 4 & 5); 
Maxi Cohen (Film and Video Art, 
Sept. 11 & 12); and Mitchell 
Kriegman (Comedy Performing for 
the Camera, Sept. 18 & 19). For info: 
MB, 120 Tinker St., Woodstock NY 
12498, (914) 679-7739. 



facilities available. Fully-equipped 
rooms. Two 6-plate Steenbecks, 
1-16/35 KEM, sound transfers from 
1 /4 " to 16mm & 35mm mag, narra- 
tion recording, extensive sound ef- 
fects library, interlock screening 
room. Contact: Cinetudes Film Pro- 
ductions Ltd., 295 West 4 St., New 
York NY 10014, (212) 966-4600. 

CONVENIENT, quiet 24-hour access 
editing room for rent: fully-equipped 
with 8-plate Steenbeck, powered 
Steenbeck rewind table, 2 trim bins, 
Rivas splicer, split reels, syn- 
chronizer, viewer etc. Screening 
room and 16mm mag transfer facili- 
ties also available. Non-smokers 
preferred. $750/month; $250/week; 
$60/day. Telephone extra. Call: 
Anomaly Films, (212) 925-1500. 

FOR RENT: 2-picture 16/35 KEM in 
fully-equipped editing room near 
11th St. and Broadway. Contact: 
Charles Light, (212) 473-8043 or 
Jacki, 925-7995. 


February 12-14. Deadline: Oct. 15. 
For more info: MFC, 800 Custer, PO 
Box 1665, Evanston IL 60204, (312) 

FESTIVAL, November 6-25. 
Deadline: Sept. 25. For more info: 
Cinema/Chicago, 415 N. Dearborn 
St., Chicago IL 60610, (312) 

VIDEO FESTIVAL is now accepting 
entries for the October event. 
Deadline is Aug. 15. For more info: 
Video 80/1, 229 Cortland, San Fran- 
cisco CA 94110. 

FESTIVAL, deadline: Sept. 30. For 
more info: Black American News- 
paper, Carol Offord, Director, 41 
Union Square, Rm. 203, New York 
NY 10023. 

deadline: September 21. Festival 
will be held at the Video Space in 

Athens OH, Oct. 22p24. For entry in- 
fo, contact: AVF, Box 388, Athens 
OH 45701, (614) 594-6888. 

send a letter requesting an applica- 
tion form to the office of the NYFF, 
140 West 65 St., New York NY 

AND COMPETITION will take place 
in the fall. For entry info: John 
Columbus, Edison National Historic 
Site, Main St. & Lakeside Ave., West 
Orange NJ 07052. 


for instructional television script- 
writers for upcoming projects in 
science, language, arts, economics 
and mathematics. The ability to 
write dialogue is of greatest im- 
portance. Forward work to: Larry 
Dokken, Personnel Manager, Educa- 
tional Communications Board, 732 
North Midvale Blvd., Madison Wl 

proposals for public TV's annual 
Station Program Cooperative (until 
August 14). To submit a proposal, 
write to: John Lorenz, SPC Manager, 
PBS, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Wash- 
ington DC 20024, (202) 488-5246. 

wanted for distribution. Small com- 
pany, good sales record, personal 
product attention. Open to different 
distribution arrangements. Contact: 
Peter Lodge, Circle Oak Produc- 
tions, 73 Girdle Ridge Dr., Katonah 
NY 10536, (914)232-9451. 

AMERICA is looking for films and 
videotapes that deal with important 
issues of aging and which combat 
age stereotypes. The best of those 
submitted will be screened in early 
Dec. at the White House Con- 
ference on Aging. For info: GSOA, 
1835 K St. NW, Washington DC 
20006, (202) 466-6750. 

film listings for an index of human 


rights films and audiovisual 
materials. Contact: Al, 407 North 
Dearborn, Rm 370, Chicago IL 

ECT announces the Annual 
American Independent Feature Film 
Market, held in New York City. July 
24. Sept. 21-Oct. 2. Application 
deadline: July 24. Films/tapes must 
arrive no later than Aug. 3. All prints 
should be shipped to the Film Fund, 
Rm. 647, 80 East 11 St., New York 
NY 10003. For more info: Mike Gold- 
berg or Cathy Campbell, IFP, (212) 

ANG HWANG HOOI is interested in 
buying 35mm documentary, histori- 
cal films about China, the Japanese 
invasion of China and Asia, and is 
also interested in acting as a 
distributor for these films. Contact: 
Ang Hwang Hooi, 598-C, Vale of 
Tempe, Tanjong Bungah, Penang, 

interested filmmakers and perfor- 
mance artists/musicians to par- 
ticipate in local monthly presenta- 
tions. Plans for national exchange/ 
booking with eye on cable market 
as well. Write to: PP, PO Box 26461, 
San Francisco CA 94120, (415) 


GRAM of the American Film In- 
stitute will award grants in the 
amount of $500 and $10,000 for pro- 
ducing or finishing videotapes. The 
filing deadline is Sept. 1. Contact: 
AFI, 501 Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills 
CA 90210, (213) 278-8777. 

BROADCASTING has announced 
the third round of its Minorities' and 
Women's Telecommunications 
Feasibility Grants. Deadline: Aug. 3. 
For info: Robert Thomas, Station 
Expansion, Broadcast Services, 
CPB, 1111 16th St. NW, Washington 
DC 20036. 

ING PROGRAM is offered in many 
states. The program covers these 
areas: program planning and pro- 
posal writing, government funding, 
foundation and corporate funding. 

For more info: Joan Sullivan, Pro- 
gram Registrar, TGC, 1031 S. Grand 
Ave., Los Angeles CA 90015, (213) 

has begun a low-power television 
hotline, available for a one-time only 
fee of $100. The Hotline will provide 
info on low-power TV options, FCC 
application assistance, channel 
searches, referrals and general 
resource. For info: NFLCP, 131 14th 
St. NW, Washington DC 20005, (202) 

RAYMOND A. ULMER, Ph.D., Direc- 
tor of The Noncompliance Institute, 
is available as a technical medical 
resource for independents. For 
more info: Dr. Raymond Ulmer, TNI, 
1888 Century Park East, Suite 828, 
Los Angeles CA 90067, (213) 

artists: deadline Octover 1. Appli- 
cant must have been a full-time resi- 
dent of 10-state southeast AL, FL, 
GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA for 
a period of one year. For more info: 
AFC, 604 Randolph Ave. NE, Hunts- 
ville AL 35801, (205) 534-3247. 


scheduled for a July 1981 release, 
will be a 90-minute 16mm color film 
documenting the change from 
homosexuality in about 18 of the 
150 men and women who have 
changed from homosexuality 
through their study of Aesthetic 
Realism. Director: Ken Kimmelman. 
For more info: CINQ Productions, 
277 West 22 St., New York NY 
10011, (212)255-8733. 

LITTLE SNOW, scheduled for late 
fall, is about a man's separation 
from his wife after a ten-year mar- 
riage and the two years that follow. 
Producer/director: Walter Ungerer. 
For more info: Dark Horse Films, 
Inc., PO Box 982, Montpelier VT 
05602, (802) 223-3967. 

in cooperation with Adelphi Produc- 
tions, is in the making for the 

National Schools Committee for 
Economic Education. It will give 
grade school and junior high school 
students a basic understanding of 
how our economic system works. 
For more info: Paul Pitcoff, Exec. 
Producer, AP, Adelphi University, 
Communications Dept., Garden City 
NY 11530, (516) 294-8700, ext. 7370. 


KBDI-TV, a public television station 
near Denver, has openings for two 
employees; a general manager and 
a training coordinator. Send 
resumes to: Robert Bows, KBDI-TV, 
Box 427, Broomfield, CO 80020. 

HELP WANTED: the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting is seeking a 
President to succeed the incum- 
bent, who has announced his retire- 
ment. Salary will be based upon 
candidate's qualifications, but is 
currently limited to a maximum of 
$69,630 by law. For more info: 
Presidential Search Committee, Mr. 
Harvey G. Dickerson, Liaison Staff 
Member, CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036. 

music arranger, and make-up per- 
son wanted. Contact: Saverio, (516) 

WORK WANTED: Seeking to work 
(low or no pay possible) with ex- 
perienced lighting/cameraperson as 
grip/electrician/AC. Have previous 
16mm background, independent- 
oriented. Contact: Robbie Rosen- 
berg, 436 East 9 St. #1A, New York 
NY 10009, (212) 674-4933. 

HELP WANTED: Looking for profes- 
sionally trained crew: sound, 
lighting and editing for documen- 
tary and professional film work. 
Strong aesthetic and personal 
motivation appreciated. Also: ex- 
perienced video cameraperson or 
AC. Send info as soon as possible 
to: Mr. J. Peterson, c/o Diane Devlin, 
200 W. 90 St. #9E, New York NY 

perienced producer with computer 
and powerful software, looking for 
co-producer/rep.(s) for interactive 
productions. Mostly training. Call: 
Jeff Anderson, (212) 744-1239. 



PRODUCTION auditor available. 
Call: S.A. Saltman, (212) 228-0900. 

FILM IN THE CITIES, a comprehen- 
sive media arts center in St. Paul, 
Minnesota, seeks experienced pro- 
grammers as applicants for a full- 
time position as Film Exhibition 
Director. Please send cover letter 
and resumes to: Richard Weise, 
Exec. Director, FITC, 2388 Univer- 
sity Avenue, St. Paul MN 55114. 


monthly newsletter for entertain- 
ment writers, is offering a special 
subscription rate to members of 
FIVF/AIVF: $28 per year (regularly 
$36 per year) for a limited time. 
Sample issue available for $2. 
Please send check or money order 
to: SN, 250 West 57 St. #224, New 
York NY 10019. 

has just published its 1981-82 
Agents' Directory, and Producers' 
Directory. Each Directory contains 
names, addresses, telephone 
numbers, contacts and specializa- 
tions. Please send $9.95 plus $1. 
postage for each, or $17.50 plus $2. 
postage for both, to: WPC, 250 West 
57 St., New York NY 10019. 

Conference on Future, Technology 
and Women is now available in 
transcript form, containing all ad- 
dresses by plenary speakers, Midge 
Costanza's keynote address, sum- 
mations of the workshops, resource 
lists and directory updates. Send 
$6.95 for each copy to: SDSU Foun- 
dation/COTAW, Office of Women's 
Studies, San Diego CA 92128. 

IN THESE TIMES is a national news- 
weekly with regular coverage of the 
arts, independently produced and 
distributed films, and the public and 
commercial broadcasting in- 
dustries. 6-month subscription/ 
$10.95. For more info: ITT, 1509 
North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago IL 
60622, (312) 489-4444. 

AIP & CO is the monthly news- 
magazine of the Association of In- 
dependent Producers, 17 Great 
Pulteney St., London W1, England, 
01-437-3549, 734-1581. 


PREMIERE, a film industry 
magazine, will publish the first in an 
annual series of directories of 
women in the film industry. Con- 
tact: Premiere, 2906 Griffith Park 
Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90027, (213) 

TION is sponsoring the publication 
of the Metro Detroit Film/Video 
Guide. For more info: DPA, 1999 E. 
Fourteen Mile, Birmingham Ml 
48008, (313) 642-7703. 


MAKER will screen and discuss his 
works, Sept. 15, 8 pm, at Upstate 
Films, 26 Montgomery St., Rhine- 
beck NY 12572. (914) 876-2515. 


has been meeting in Los Angeles to 
organize a worldwide network with 
an international roster & newsletter. 
Contact: Lenore DeKoven, 360 Cen- 
tral Park West, New York NY 10025. 

film by Sol Rubin, has been ac- 
quired by Italin television. For more 
info: Sol Rubin, PO Box 40, New 
York NY 10038. 

Opportunities for Women is in- 
terested in preparing a list of 
recommended audiovisual materi- 
als. They are especially interested 
in pieces on women in non-tradi- 
tional jobs. Call: Carmella Mazotta, 
(202) 638-3143. 

filed 21 complaints of sex 
discrimination against 18 major 
studios and production companies 
in the Los Angeles area on Feb. 25. 
Companies named include ABC, 
CBS, NBC, Columbia Pictures, 
MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, 
Universal Studios and several 

others. The EECC has 180 days to 
decide if the complaint is valid. 

will distribute to foreign television 
ten short films produced by 
students at the American Film In- 
stitute's Center for Advanced Film 
Studies. The films are: The New 
Wife (Renee Cho); The River 
(Barbara Noble); Toe to Toe (Ted 
Lange); Watcher (John McTiernan); 
Mrs. Uschyk (Gerald P. Quinn); 
Journey (Tim Moore); The Telltale 
Heart (Steve Carver); Wednesday 
(Marv Kupfer); The Open Window 
(Richard Patterson) and God Sees 
The Truth But Waits (Chuck Hood). 
For info: AFI, JFK Center for the 
Performing Arts, Washington DC 
20566, (212) 828-4040. 

nounces the addition of 3 new staff 
members: Kerry Green, Administra- 
tor; Richard Lorber, Marketing 
Research Consultant; and Lori Zip- 
pay, Administrative Assistant. For 
more info: EAI, 84 Fifth Ave., New 
York NY 10011, (212) 989-2316. 

THE ARTS announces 2 new staff 
members: Barbara Haspiel, Deputy 
Director for Communication Arts, 
and Kay Bearman, Deputy Director 
for Visual Arts. For more info: 
NYSCA, 80 Centre St., New York NY 
10013, (212) 587-4555. 

FOR RENT: 1600 Broadway, space 
available. 2 large rooms, separate 
entrance, air conditioned, excellent 
for cutting rooms and/or offices, all 
film services are in the building. 
Contact: Mindy, Texture Films, (212) 

Your Short Film Could Play in Theatres Across the U.S.A. 


The National Endowment for the Arts 
Short Film Showcase Round V — a 
program for the distribution of short films 
to commercial theatres administered by 
the Foundation tor independent Video and 
Film, Inc (FIVF) 

Since 1978 19 Showcase films have been 
seen by 15.000.000 movie-goers in 
theatres throughout the country 

Each filmmaker whose wo r k is selected 
will receive an honorarium of $3,000 and 
will supervise the 35mm blow-up of his or 
her film. Filmmakers with multiple entries 
will be eligible for a single award and the 
inclusion of only one Mm in the program. 

Films have included. 
Jordan Belson's LIGHT. Aviva Slesin s A 
Davidson's 100 WATTS 120 VOLTS, Eliot 
Noyes Jr.'s SANDMAN 

Jurors invited to select films have 


Hah Ashby, Jaime Barrios. 

Francis Ford Coppola, Molly 

Haskell, Lynne Littman, Frank 

Mouris, Michael Schultz, 

Martin Scorsese and Ted Timreck. 

You Are Eligible For This 
Program of High Quality Short 
Films if You: 

• are an American citizen or permanent 

• control the U S theatrical rights 

• have cleared all performance rights and 
your film, 

— was completed in 16mm or 35mm 

— runs 10 minutes or less including 
titles and end credits 

— is not already in 35mm theatrical 

— will qualify for an MPAA rating of G 

Entry Instructions: 

Up to 3 films may be submitted for entry 
and each must be: 

» a composite print mounted on a reel 
» shipped in a regulation film case 

• marked with film title and name of 
filmmaker on reel, leader and shipping 

• sent prepaid and insured (by entrant) 
and must contain a return mailing label 
and check or money order payable to 
FIVF in the amount of $3.00 to cover 
return shipping costs. 

No Improperly Packaged Films 
Will be Accepted 

Films are submitted at owner's own risk. 
Receipt will only be acknowledged if 
entrant encloses either U.S. Postal form 
#3811 (Return Receipt) (insured or 
registered en route to New York) or 
self-addressed stamped envelope or card 

Send Films to: 

Short Film Showcase 

625 Broadway-9th Floor 
New York, NY 10012 

Entry Deadline: 

November 2, 1981 


Showcase winners will be notified and all 
other films returned by February 28, 1982 

Entry Form 

I have read and accept the above 
conditions and state that I am the principal 
filmmaker for the film(s) entered in my 
name, that I have all rights of publication 
to the film(s) and that the content of the 
film(s) does not infringe upon the rights of 


.Zip Code_ 

. Phone and Area Code_ 

Tille(s) of film(s)_ 

Running Time(s)_ 

.Color D B'W D Dale(s) completed. 

I learned about SFS through. 

Sign here. 

FIVF is a national service organization dedicated to the growth ot independent video and film 




3. Q- 


















O 3 

*- Z£ 




























o cji 


CD *9 

Q. I\J 














o < 
S < 














3 = 

3" <p 9: 

9 2. 5; 

= N c 
o £5 

s o*> 
£• 5 >v> 

5 ^ Cn 
3 3 .> 

3 C* ^ 
CD "■*" 

"< C 
O 31 

(D 3 

>< O 

2 J> 
z ^ 

o =s 

to ~» 


CD 0) 

P Si 

D £ 

— m 

$ 5» 

o — 


f z 

CD _, 












5 : 

3 ° 

Q. -* 

0) =■ 



-> Q. 









5i 5" < 








to _ 






*s r- 


"° z 
5 f 


C/J . 

3 * 

— "0 

*■ -< 

-D 5 3) 

""•J z 


2 ^ 

O O 

<5 ■< 
<o • 

m x 



The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New 
York NY 10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt service organization for the 
promotion of independent video and film. Publication of The Indepen- 
dent is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
Federal Agency. 

Subscription is included in membership in the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the trade association sister of 
FIVF. AIVF is a national association of independent producers, crafts- 
people and supporters of independent video and film. Together, FIVF 
and AIVF provide a broad range of educational and professional 
services and advocacy for independents and the general public. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our members and sup- 
porters. If you have an idea for, or wish to contribute an article to, The 
Independent, contact the Editor at the above address. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect the opinion 
of the Board of Directors — they are as diverse as our member, staff 
and reader contributors. 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block, David W. Leitner, John Rice, 

Barbara Turrill 
Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 
Advertising Representative: Michelle Slater 

Staff Members: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; Wendy Lidell, 
Assistant Director; Alan Mitosky, Short Film Showcase Project 
Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film Showcase Administrative 
Assistant; John Rice, Media Awareness Project Director; Fran Piatt, 
Membership Coordinator; Barbara Turrill. 




by David W. Leitner 


Questioning Cable Compensation 
by Michael S. Siporin 


by John Rice 


by Carol Clement 

Cover: George Griffin 

1625 West 25 Street 
Minneapolis, Mn. 55406 
July 20, 1981 

To The Editor: 

This writer shared your concerns about the operation of 
the CPB/Program Fund "Crisis to Crisis" series. 

Now, as the newly appointed Executive Producer of that 
series, I trust I will be in a position to represent the 
concerns of AIVF members such as myself. 

I am in the process of relocating from Minneapolis to 
Washington. I look forward to hearing from AIVF members 
concerning their interests in submitting proposals to the 
Program Fund for this series. 

Alvin H. Goldstein 
Executive Producer 
"Crisis to Crisis" 

P.S. I am not employed by CPB. I function under a grant, 
as an independent, to American University, Wash., D.C. 

June 18, 1981 

Dear Sirs: 

Over the past two years I have read your publication more 
or less from cover to cover and find it to be the most 
interesting, informative, practical and useful source that I 
have yet run across — and I do get the other film 
magazines as well. 

In short, I think that your publication should be required 
reading for anyone making independent films I 

Keep up the good work. 

Very best regards. 

Yours sincerely, 

Robin Lehman 
July 28, 1981 

Dear Whomever Reads Inquiries like this: 

... I am a professor of film and broadcasting at Ithaca 
College in upstate New York, and teach filmmaking and 
documentary film. I would like to distribute your literature 
in my classes, and plan on giving a lecture on your 
organization in my documentary course this fall. So any 
materials to that effect that you might send to me there 
would greatly help de-Hollywoodize my students. Also, if 
you supply names for mailing lists to independent 
distributors, please include my name. I rent a lot of films 
for my classes. Please send the materials to me at: 
Department of Cinema and Photography, School of 
Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York 14850. 

I look forward to hearing from you, and please, keep up 
the wonderful and important work you're doing. I'm 
expecting Hollywood to crumble and hope you are there to 

Thank you for your help, 

Patricia R. Zimmerman 


The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) 
played an important role in the enactment of Federal legisla- 
tion in 1978 requiring that the Corporation for Public Broad- 
casting (CPB) reserve substantial funds for the production of 
public television programs by independents. AIVF maintains 
that CPB has failed to fund independent production at the 
levels set by Congress in the 1978 Act. This general problem 
was recently aggravated when CPB declined to fund any pro- 
posals submitted for a recent funding round for the Crisis to 
Crisis series (see THE INDEPENDENT, vol. 4, no. 4). AIVF 
Director Lawrence Sapadin recently addressed these matters 
in a statement before the CPB Board of Directors, on July 23, 
1981, concerning the policies and practices of the CPB Pro- 
gram Fund: 


The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) 
is a national trade association of about 1200 independent pro- 
ducers and craftspeople. Our members' work ranges from 
short video art pieces to dramatic features and feature-length 
documentaries. What is common to all independent work, 
however, is that it expresses the visions and concerns of the 
artist, not those of a sponsor — commercial or otherwise. In- 
dependents produce alternative films and tapes in a society 
increasingly dominated by the commercial media. 

The mission of public television has been to provide the 
public with alternative television, television to enlighten and 
delight, rather than stupefy and demean. It was natural, then, 
that independents should have seen such great promise in 
public television as an appropriate and effective medium for 
their work. 

For independents, however, the promise of public television 
has not been fulfilled. Funding levels for independent work 
have been far lower than the statutory minimum that we had a 
right to expect. Funding procedures have too often failed to 
take full account of the diversity of style and content of inde- 
pendent work. 

AIVF is here today to make recommendations concerning Pro- 
gram Fund policies and practices that will enable the Corpora- 
tion for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to reach deeper and find 
more support in the communities it represents, and among 
the independent producers who live and work in those com- 


In the Public Telecommunications Financing Act of 1978 (47 
U.S.C. Sec. 390, et seq.), Congress determined that it furthers 
the general welfare to have a public television system respon- 
sive to people locally and nationally, and which constitutes an 
expression of diversity and excellence (Sec. 396(a)(5)). 

Having determined that existing program funding levels were 
inadequate to foster such diversity, Congress mandated the 
allocation of significantly higher funding levels for program 

production — at least one-fourth of CPB's total budget (Sec. 
396(k)(3)(B)(i); House Conference Report No. 95-1774 at 5396). 
This portion of CPB's budget has come to be known as the 
Program Fund. 

Congress further recognized "the important contribution in- 
dependent producers can make in innovative and creative new 
programming" (Conf. Rep., supra), and directed that from the 
Program Fund, 

". . .a substantial amount shall be reserved for distribu- 
tion to independent producers and production entities 
for the production of programs." (Sec. 396(k)(B)(i)). 

Congress defined independent producers as: 
"producers not affiliated with any public telecom- 
munications entity and especially the smaller indepen- 
dent organizations and individuals who, while talented, 
may not yet have received national recognition." (Conf. 
Rep., supra). 

On the floor of the House, and in correspondence with CPB's 
President, the sponsors of the 1978 Act made it clear that by 
"substantial" Congress intended at least half of the Program 
Fund to be used to fund independent work (see attachments A 
and B). The House Committee on Energy and Commerce 
recently reaffirmed that intention in the Report accompanying 
its pending public television legislation, H.R. 3238: 

"The Committee restates its intention that 50 percent of 
the funds under paragraph (6)(B)(i) be reserved for 
distribution to independent producers and production 
entities. They have demonstrated their value to public 
broadcasting, and deserve the fullest possible 
support." (House Report No. 97-82 at 21). 

It is clear, then, that Congress, as a matter of public television 
policy, has undertaken to promote the production of indepen- 
dent television programming, and directed that half the Pro- 
gram Fund's budget be set aside for that purpose. 


CPB has failed to allocate the full measure of funds required 
by Congress for independent production. 

The Program Fund budget in Fiscal Year 1981 was 
$25,287,000. Accordingly, under the Congressional mandate, 
at least $12.5 million should have been reserved for indepen- 
dent production. 

By February 1981, only $4,397,748 million had — according to 
CPB's figures — been committed to independent producers 
(see attachment C). Since then, another $3,000,000 or so has 
been added: $2 1 A million for the National Television Theatre, 
and about $% million for Round 3 of the Crisis to Crisis 
series, bringing the total to about $7,500,000 — or roughly 
30% of the Program Fund's budget. 

Of that 30%, nearly $1 million funded the Children's Tele- 
vision Workshop, a production entity commonly viewed as af- 
filiated with the public television system. In any event, CTW is 
by no definition a "smaller independent organization". With- 

out CTW, the percentage of independent funding slips to 
about 25%, only half of the required funding level. Thus, to 
provide the full measure of support for independent produc- 
tion required by statute, the Program Fund must increase its 
efforts, and results, by 100%. 


Independent work is, by definition, within the artistic control 
of the producer and therefore not easily classifiable by either 
style or content. The Program Fund has successfully funded a 
number of unsolicited proposals, as well as an anthology of 
independent works falling within the loose thematic frame- 
work of Matters of Life and Death. However, in FY '81, the 
Fund has funded primarily existing single-producer series, or 
thematic series with opaque guidelines for the treatment of 
specific subjects and issues. The results have not been en- 
couraging. One funding cycle, Crisis to Crisis Round 2, 
aborted completely, with none of the 300 or so submitting in- 
dependent producers and PTV stations having been able — in 
the Program Fund's estimation — to grasp what the Fund was 
looking for. While a number of pieces were funded in the 
following recent round, independent producers have been left 
feeling that what is being sought is not independent work, but 
work that conforms to the Fund's preconception of the series 
being developed. One frustrated AIVF member-producer 

"My objection to this series is that it appears that 
someone. . .has a list of what types of programs he 
wants to see in the series. I think that's pretty obvious 
in light of the bulletin that followed Round 2. Thus, if 
your program fits into what the board (sic) is looking for, 
fine. If not, it will be rejected." 

Packaging independent work often makes a great deal of 
sense. In fact, independents are packaging more and more of 
their own work to find new markets and develop audiences. 
But the packaging must be made to fit the product. At the Pro- 
gram Fund, the product is being squeezed and distorted to fit 
into a rigid package. This approach does great damage to the 
very concept of independent work. 


Independent producers have been inadequately represented 
on the advisory panels. While the Fund's desire to seek the 
wisdom of experts — print journalists, academics, etc. — is 
laudable, outside expertise has come to outweigh the exper- 
tise of video and film producers. Every medium has its own 
criteria and context. Judgments on the funding of PTV pro- 
gramming should be made primarily by PTV program pro- 
ducers. If at least 50% of CPB's production budget is reserved 
for independent production, then independent producers 
must hold half of the seats on these avisory panels. 

Moreover, the decisions of properly constituted panels must 
be given great weight. In the most recent Crisis to Crisis fund- 
ing round, the selections of the advisory panel were treated as 

little more than suggestions, with only 3 out of 9 recommen- 
dations being accepted by the Fund staff. Such highhanded- 
ness is an affront to the panelists — independents and ex- 
perts alike — and to the viewing public. Let's stop the 
charades. If the panel system has become no more than an 
etiquette at CPB, then save the travel and hotel money and 
produce another program instead. If, on the other hand, the 
Fund intends to be responsive to the public, then panel deci- 
sions must be accorded more weight than now. 


For all of the foregoing reasons, AIVF makes the following 

1. The CPB Board should direct the Program Fund to reserve 
no less than 50% of its total budget for distribution to in- 
dependent producers for the production or acquisition of 
public television programs, as required by law. 

In addition, for FY '82, the Board should require the further 
allocation of an additional 20% of the Fund's budget for in- 
dependent production to remedy the Fund's failure to ade- 
quately fund independent programs in FY '81. 

2. The Board should direct the Fund to develop program 
structures that complement rather than conflict with the in- 
herent nature of independent production. The Independent 
Anthology series should be refunded at a higher level than in 
FY '80. Thematic series should be conceived and administered 
with sufficient flexibility to promote rather than frustrate the 
production of the full range of independent work, in all its 
diversity of content and style. 

3. The Board should require that advisory panels be com- 
posed of independent producers in the majority. Active pro- 
ducers should be primarily responsible for evaluating whether 
a given proposal will make a good film or tape for television. 

4. In this time of declining Federal support for public tele- 
vision, the Board should reaffirm its commitment to the fund- 
ing of minority independent programming, and mandate that 
the Fund strengthen its commitment to funding such work. 

In view of the immediacy of the budgetary issue, and the clari- 
ty of the Congressional mandate reflected in Recommenda- 
tion No. 1, AIVF urges the Board to pass a resolution at this 
meeting directing the Program Fund to reserve no less than 
50% of its budget for distribution to independent producers 
for the production of public television programs. 

We urge the Board to act upon all other Recommendations at 
its next meeting. 

AIVF will be available to provide any appropriate assistance in 
realizing these goals and in achieving the Congressional pur- 
pose of providing a vital public television system capable of 
reflecting the diversity and excellence of American life. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Lawrence Sapadin 
Executive Director 
Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers, Inc. 


This Summer, in an unprecedented and stunning procedural 
maneuver, Congress successfully used the budget process to 
dictate the most sweeping cuts in a wide array of social and 
arts programs since the New Deal. 

In addition, the Senate attached as riders to its mammoth 
Budget Reconciliation Bill several broadcast deregulation 
bills. These bills included legislation to grant radio stations 
permanent licenses, to award new radio and television 
licenses t lottery instead of on the basis of "the public in- 
terest, convenience and necessity", and to drastically reduce 
funding for public television. In many cases, there had been 
no public Hearings on the proposed deregulaiion bills. For this 
reason, the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications op- 
posed consideration of the legislation with the budget 

On July 20, 1981, a coalition of public interest, media and 
labor organizations held a press conference in Washington 
DC, organized by the National Citizens Committee for Broad- 
casting (NCCB), to protest the inclusion of these important 
communications bills in the budget package. The Association 
of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) was part of that 
coalition, and a signatory to the joint statement appearing 

By Sunday night, July 26, 1981, a House-Senate conference 
committee on the Reconciliation Bill concluded its 
horsetrading, which became law on July 31, 1981. The 
resulting legislation, while not quite as extreme as the 
Senate's original deregulation bills, nonetheless represents a 
major victory for commercial broadcasters and a serious 
defeat for the public. Under the new provisions of the 
deregulation legislation, television licenses are extended to 
five years, radio to seven. New licenses will be granted by 
lottery, but with a built-in preference for "historically under- 
represented" groups. Some funds have been restored to the 
still vastly undernourished public television system. 


The Congress of the United States is about to make a serious 

It is about to repeal basic laws which protect the public in- 
terest in communications. Tacked on to the Budget Recon- 
ciliation Bill, S. 1377, are several communication items that 
have nothing to do with the budget. These items, if they 
become law, will eliminate many of the important safeguards 
for a fair and democratic communications system. 

What is worse is that the Congress is being asked to decide 
on these important issues during the emotionally charged 
debate on the Administration's budget package. In fact, the 
Senate has unfairly deprived its own members and the public 
of full and open debate on these critical communications 
issues. Furthermore, neither the relevant House committee 
nor the full House has had an opportunity to consider these 
communications bills. 

Hidden in the hundreds of pages of budget materials, these 
proposed changes in the communications laws will not 
receive adequate attention. Therefore, we are holding this 
press conference today to call to the attention of the 
members of Congress and the public the efforts to significant- 
ly amend the United States communications laws as part of 
this budget legislation. 

We urge Senator Packwood, Chairman of the Senate Com- 
merce Committee, and all other budget conferees to abandon 
this effort at backdoor deregulation. The House-passed ver- 
sion of the Budget Reconciliation Bill does not contain any 
substantive changes in the communications laws. Indeed, 
neither the House nor its committees with jurisdiction over 
communications legislation have had the opportunity to con- 
sider the Senate communications bill. Therefore, we strongly 
urge the Conference to drop the Senate communication sec- 
tions of the Budget Reconciliation Act. 

If the final reconciliation bill (including S. 270 and S. 601) con- 
tains the Senate version, then the communications laws will 
be changed as follows: 

• Radio stations will be granted permanent licenses. Today, 
every radio station must renew its license every three 
years. The license will be renewed if the station serves the 
public interest. 

• New licenses for radio and TV stations may be granted 
based on a lottery. Today, licenses for new stations are 
awarded to those who show they are the best qualified ap- 

• Radio stations will no longer have to ascertain community 
needs or meet community information program require- 
ments. Instead, radio stations will be free to program only 
to the groups and interests they want to — even if it means 
ignoring large segments of the population. 

• Enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine as it applies to radio 
will be difficult if not impossible. 

• Television licenses will be awarded for five years, instead 
of the current three-year period. 

• The right to file a competing application will be eliminated 
for both radio and television. Today, any person or group 
that feels it can better serve a community has the right to 
challenge the current broadcaster. 


Action for Children's Television 

American Federation of State, County and Municipal 

American Library Association 
Americans for Democratic Action 
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai-B'rith 
Association of American University Women 
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers 
Charles Firestone 
Citizens Communications Center 
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists 
Congress Watch 

Consumer Federation of America 
Consumers Union 

Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO 
International Association of Machinists 
Joseph Rauh, Jr. 
Media Access Project 
National Black Media Coalition 
National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting 
National Citizens Communications Lobby 
National Consumers League 

National Education Association 
National Organization for Women 
National Parent Teacher Association 
Public Media Center 
United Auto Workers, International Union 

United Church of Christ 
United States Catholic Conference 
United Steelworkers of America 
Washington Association for Television and Children 
Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers 
International Union 


Over 50 films were submitted for the 1981 Mannheim Film Festival through the FIVF Festival Bureau. The Mannheim 
selection committee consisted of Fee Vaillant and Hanns Maier, co-directors of the festival, Marc Weiss, vice-president of 
AIVF/FIVF, Mira Liehm and Archie Perlmutter. 

We congratulate the following filmmakers and wish their films the best of luck in competition at the festival: 
THE DOZENS by Christine Dall and Randall Conrad 

WHAT COULD YOU DO WITH A NICKEL? by Jeff Kleinman & Cara DeVito 
THE KU KLUX KLAN by Pamela Yates & Tom Sigel 

FIVF also wishes to congratulate the following American independent filmmakers whose films have been selected for the 
19th New York Film Festival: 


by James Gaffney, Martin Lucas, and Jonathan Miller 

SOLDIER GIRLS by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill 

THE LAST TO KNOW by Bonnie Friedman 


THE KU KLUX KLAN by Pamela Yates and Tom Sigel 

WE WERE GERMAN JEWS by Michael Blackwood 

HOOPER'S SILENCE by Brian O'Doherty 

VERNON, FLORIDA by Errol Morris 

STATIONS OF THE ELEVATED by Manny Kirchheimer 

In addition, this year's New York Film Festival is hosting a special event called Movies for Cynics — A Program of 
American Social and Political Satire and Commentary. American independent films featured in this program include: 



AN ACQUIRED TASTE by Ralph Arlyck 

IT'S AN OK LIFE and THE CLUB by George Griffin 

MISSION TO MONGO by J. Hoberman 

JIMMY THE C by Jimmy Picker 

BURGLARCARD by James McPherson 

THEE AND ME by Daniel Nauke 


MONGOLOID by Bruce Connor 


by Janet Perlman 

NO ROOM AT THE INN by R.O. Blackman 

OH, DEM WATERMELONS by Robert Nelson 

RAPID EYE MOVEMENTS by Jeff Carpenter 


by David W. Leitner 


AUTHOR'S NOTE: In Focus is a technical column tailored 
specifically to independent media production and will appear 
regularly in THE INDEPENDENT. Suggestions for future 
topics or comments are most welcome and can be forwarded 
to the author in care of AIVF/FIVF. 

One of the more vexing technical problems in media produc- 
tion is the acquisition of sharp, high-definition images when 
desired. This is particularly the case for 16mm, where the 
superior resolving power of film is offset by the small dimen- 
sions of the format. With an image area one-fifth the size of its 
big brother, 35mm, 16mm must be exposed with a propor- 
tionately greater amount of care and skill to yield images of 
comparable professional quality. This demands nothing less 
than lenses in premium condition, maintained like new and 
mated to the camera with utmost precision. Given today's 
standards, it's time that more attention be paid to lens in- 

Much popular confusion exists as to what level of perfor- 
mance to expect of a lens. Photographed tests at the onset of 
production are often rife with inadvertent variables and 
therefore useless in detecting and evaluating any but gross 
shortcomings. Test charts, of limited value in the first place, 
are mostly mislit, improperly positioned, and spuriously 
analyzed. This serves to invite further confusion, fostering the 
anxious uncertainty: Is it sharp? Is it sharp enough? Should it 
be sharper? 

Most people with still or motion picture camera experience 
are well versed in the practical application of depth of field, 
the zone in front of the camera within which detail is viewed 
as in focus. Many are not aware that there is a corresponding 
zone behind the lens where the image is formed. It is known 
as depth of focus, and as the term implies, it is the thin 
zone within which the film plane must rest if focus is to be 
achieved. Like the depth of field, focus drops off at the limits 
of depth of focus. Unlike depth of field, however, if the film 
emulsion is not contained within depth of focus, nothing 
across the image can be in sharp focus. 

Depth of focus increases as a lens is stopped down, just like 
depth of field. Most interestingly, though, it varies with focal 
length and focusing distance — unlike depth of field, which 
shrinks as the lens is focused on closer objects and as the 
focal length of the lens increases. Depth of focus expands. 
This means that a lens has more depth of focus when focused 
at ten inches than ten feet, and that a 9.5mm lens has con- 
siderably less depth of focus than a 100mm lens. These rela- 
tionships hold for all lens designs, including primes and 

Depth of focus can be a matter of microns. A micron is one 
thousandth of a millimeter, a microscopic increment of 
measurement. If the lens is not positioned over the film with 
an accuracy matching this level of precision, then best results 
cannot be obtained. It is the mounting of the lens on the face 
of the camera that provides for the exact spacing between the 
optical center of the lens and the surface of the film. 

The lens as fabricated by the manufacturer usually has no 
mount. The mount, a solid steel ring with external threads, 
grooves or lips, is added on at the rear of a lens. The design of 
the mount ring depends upon the camera in question. Aaton, 
Arriflex, Eclair, and Cinema Products each offer a uniquely 
configured mount, and naturally each camera accepts only its 
own mount. What is common to each system is a surface on 

the mount, usually a flat shoulder, and a correspondingly flat 
rim at the mouth of the camera socket into which the lens is 
plugged. When butted together, the two surfaces precisely 
establish the proper distance between lens and film. This 
distance, measured from the plane of the two interfaced sur- 
faces to the film plane, is called flange focal distance. 

Each camera has its own specification for flange focal 
distance. The Aaton, for instance, allows 40mm, with a 
tolerance of plus or minus two microns. To maintain this level 
of precision, the lens mount must be carefully located on the 
housing of the lens. Since depth of focus is minimal when a 
lens is focused at infinity and opened to its widest aperture, 
the mount should be adjusted to the lens and evaluated under 
these strictest of conditions. This is a job for the collimator. 

The collimator is a simple instrument that utilizes the princi- 
ple of focal length. The focal length of a lens, it will be 
remembered, is the distance from the optical center of the 
lens to its focus when focused upon an object at infinity. This 
coincides with the condition of minimal depth of focus. On a 
collimator, two lenses are pointed at each other, both focused 
to infinity. One lens is a known quantity; a tiny test pattern 
illuminated from behind is placed at its focus. Because all 
optics are reversible (a camera lens could be used as a projec- 
tor lens — in the early days they were!), the test pattern proj- 
ects out the front of the known lens, simulating an image at 
infinity from the vantage point of the other lens, the lens 
under test. Rays of light from a point at infinity are essentially 
parallel — hence the word collimate: "to make parallel". 

The lens under test takes in the parallel rays and, focused to 
infinity, bends them into focus at its focal length. If this lens 
is mounted with the mount precisely positioned on the lens 
barrel, and if the lens is joined to a camera, then the pattern 
projected by the first lens will focus sharply on the surface of 
the film in the camera. At infinity, properly mounted, the focal 
plane at the focal length of the camera's lens will coincide 
with its film plane. When this is the case, a lens is considered 

This suggests a practical test that can be easily shot in the 
field. Select an object of pronounced detail at infinity focus 
for a given lens. Consult a depth of field chart, if necessary. 
Open the lens aperture to the fastest stop, and with film run- 
ning, rack focus slowly until the infinity indication on the 
distance scale is reached. Process and screen. If the lens is 
adequately collimated, the object at infinity will be brought 
into best focus, and the image will appear sharp. If the object 


ivtoACJL. ^ 

is brought into focus only to go slightly soft again, then at in- 
finity focus the lens is focusing beyond the surface of the 
emulsion. Although such a lens can be brought to focus 
through a reflex viewfinder, its focusing scale is meaningless, 
precluding taping focus, and near focus is curtailed. If the ob- 
ject never reaches focus, then the lens is mounted too far for- 
ward, and the focus is falling short of the film plane. Not only 
is the focusing scale rendered incorrect, but infinity focus is 

The error permissible in the spacing of a mount on a lens is a 
function of the focal length of the lens. A 350mm lens can be 
several tenths of a millimeter off with little consequence, but 
if an Angenieux 5.9mm is so much as ten thousandths of a 
millimeter off, it's noticeably unsharp. Zoom lenses, popular 
in documentary situations where low lighting is the rule, often 
grow soft when zooming out to wide angle. As the effective 
focal length diminishes, depth of focus simply shrinks. 

When the mount on the lens needs adjustment, one solution 
available to the lens technician is to shuffle shims under the 
mount. Shims are thin metal spacers of exact thicknesses, 
and adding or subtracting them will alter the position of the 
lens mount when tightened down. When one considers the 
tolerances involved, placing the mount right on the money is 
an impressive feat, but nonetheless necessary if the 

cinematographer expects maximum performance from his or 
her expensive optics. 

Sometimes all that is necessary to improve focus is to polish 
the surface of the lens mount that mates to the camera, or 
remove a piece of grit from the corresponding rim on the face 
of the camera. Accordingly, gummy accumulations shouldn't 
be allowed to develop. Anything that interferes with the 
requisite spacing of lens to film plane spells trouble, par- 
ticularly for those vulnerable short focal lengths. There's even 
an argument to be made in this against the use of lens adap- 
tors for converting one camera's mount to that of another. 
They often contribute a little extra spacing on their own. 

We've all shared the daunting experience of examining our 
unintentionally unsharp images, scratching our heads, and 
wondering how come if we used this camera and that lens, 
which so-and-so at the camera rental place assured us was in 
top shelf condition. . .how come the pictures are fuzzy and 
soft all over? Although this business probably has more than 
its share of imponderables, there is still much that can be 
understood and thereby controlled. A little knowledge of 
equipment goes a long way, and an informed independent 
film-maker will contribute a stronger voice to the effort to 
raise the prevailing standards of servicing and maintenance 
pertaining to the basic tools of the trade. 



Thursday October 15, 7:30 pm at FIVF 
$6/members $10/non-members 


Thursday, October 22, 7:30 pm at FIVF 
$6/members $10/non-members 

These two workshops will teach how to budget a film and 
video production from pre-production (research and develop- 
ment) through release print/tape. Budgets for two hypo- 
thetical productions — one a dramatic feature and the other a 
documentary — will be developed on both evenings, the first 
week in 16mm film, and the following week in 3/4" and 1" 
videotape. At the close of the second session, comparisons 
will be drawn with both instructors present. The emphasis will 
be on the "low-budget" production. Both workshops may be 
attended for a special price of $10/members, $17/non- 

LENZ — A Film by Alexandre Rockwell 

Sunday, October 25, 8:00 pm at 

The Collective for Living Cinema, 52 White Street 

$2/members $3/non-members 

A special screening, co-sponsored by FIVF and The Col- 
lective, of a new independent feature film by AIVF member 
Alexandre Rockwell. A tale of one New Yorker among many, 
the film is both beautiful and haunting. The filmmaker will be 

TECHNOLOGY — Geoffrey M. Langdon 

Thursday, November 5. 7:30 pm at FIVF 
$4/members $6/non-members 

A workshop designed to enable the sound recordist to make 
his or her own decisions about microphone choice and place- 
ment. The emphasis will be on understanding their design and 
application rather than on a "cookbook" approach to 
microphone usage. A generally free-form discussion based as 
much as possible on participants' questions. 

OFFS AND RELEASES — Liane Brandon 

Thursday, November 12, 7:30 pm at FIVF 
$6/members $10/non-members 

A workshop designed to help film and video makers decide 
what to do with their film/tape once it is finished. We will deal 
with distribution — doing it yourself vs. having a distributor, 
and contracts — drawing them up, handling negotiations, and 
getting a fair deal. We will also discuss rip-offs and releases 
— protecting yourself, and facing legal questions, ethics, and 
copyright concerns. 


Thursday, November 19, 7:30 pm at FIVF 
$2/members $3/non-members 

FIVF presents an evening of experimental and not-widely- 
shown animated films and videotapes curated by Barbara 
Turrill. A discussion with the animators will follow the 




by Michael S. Siporin 

Home Box Office is a division of Time-Life, Inc. and it 
dominates and tends to set standards for cable tele- 
vision. Are the current rates paid to film and video- 
makers by Home Box, Inc. reasonable? I don't think so. 


At present, a typical HBO agreement calls for a pay- 
ment of $100 per minute of video or film. This arrange- 
ment allows HBO to broadcast the work twelve times. 
Thus in reality, this is not a $100-per-minute agreement. 
The actual payment for each minute the work is broad- 
cast is eight dollars and some change. 

Traditionally, film rental rates have been in the area 
of $1 to $2 per minute. Usually these rentals are to 
film societies, college groups or school classrooms. 
Audiences for these showings are small in number, 
usually between ten and one hundred people. There is a 
very serious inconsistency when we look at the number 
of viewers that will see our work on HBO compared to 
the compensation per viewer from traditional film 
rental. By HBO's own estimate, they are reaching over 
12 million viewers. How does $8 per minute to an 
audience of this magnitude make any sense? Each of 
the 5 million subscribers pays about $9 per month. One 
subscriber per month pays for each minute our work is 
broadcast, and HBO keeps the change. 


Many of the short films used by HBO are in a real sense 
being premiered. Because of the unfortunate lack of 
forums for short films, the work HBO gets is often new 
material. Contrary to what we may have originally 
thought, rather than being an ancillary market, cable 
may be the only market for many films. In these situa- 
tions, the rate structure is even more glaringly inap- 

With the present rate structure a theoretical ten-minute 
film, produced, as many of our films are, at cost from 
the artists' personal funds, could be sold to cable, 

broadcast nationally to millions of people on every 
available cable system, and not make back its minimal 
cost. Worst of all, because of this kind of exposure, the 
film might well be rejected by other markets in the 
future as having had too much play. 

Presently, new films by independents are lumped 
together with older films from such sources as the BBC 
and the Canadian Film Board, films with commercial 
tie-ins and even student productions from UCLA (ap- 
parently marketed under the auspices of that univer- 
sity). This is just a sampling of the competition. 

An increased rate structure favoring new or recent pro- 
ductions is needed. In the near future, with government 
cutbacks in funding for independents, this may be the 
only means of survival for independent producers of 
short films. 


We must recognize that we are dealing in an area where 
there is great potential for our being exploited. The first 
thing to do is to communicate with each other. We need 
to find out if you have already had some of these 
thoughts, and to ask how you think we can solve this 
problem, assuming that you agree that there is a 

We might begin by organizing the various cable 
distributors with the intention of getting contractual 
rates that are in line with production costs. We may 
also need to organize film and video people into a union 
or guild and set appropriate standards of compensa- 
tion. We certainly need to speak out for higher and 
more equitable rates. 

For obvious reasons, artists are often reluctant to use 
their energies on such matters. But in dealing in an 
area of art where the costs of a production are by 
necessity a limitation to one's productivity, it is proper 
that we concern ourselves with just and equitable com- 
pensation for our work. 


AIVF, the only national trade organization of independent 
video and filmmakers, is considering establishing regional 
structures in order to better serve and represent our national 
membership. This raises many complex questions concerning 
the financing, scope of activity and governance of such 
regional structures. 

We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions: Are 
chapters necessary? How should they be set up? How can 
they best serve you? Address all comments to AIVF, 625 
Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10012. 


It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process changes of address, 
renewals and other changes in your mailing status. 
Don't wait until after you have moved to send AIVF your 
new address. Give us as much advance notice as possi- 
ble and include your current mailing label, and you'll 
keep on receiving THE INDEPENDENT without interrup- 




Public Broadcasting's FY 1984-86 authorizing legislation, 
voted out of conference committee July 27, received the final 
nod from both houses July 31, 1981. Public Broadcasting is 
emerging with a $130,000,000 authorization for each of the 
years 1984 through 1986. From CPB's perspective, the 
compromise provisions of the bill represent a serious erosion 
of CPB's financial control. The bill gives CPB only 10% of the 
total federal outlay for its own operations. Of the remaining 
90%, PTV gets three quarters, public radio one quarter. In a 
minor change, the formula now calls for 75% of the TV money 
to go directly to individual stations and 25% to the national 
program fund (as opposed to an 80-20 split). Other actions in- 
clude the reduction of the CPB Board from 15 to 11 with one 
seat permanently assigned to the CPB president (who will 
also be chairperson) and one seat each to PBS and public 
radio. The requirement of Community Advisory Boards will be 
eliminated for all but community-owned licensees. For inde- 
pendents, the original House report clarified a "substantial 
amount" for independents as 50% of Program Fund monies. 
However, the House-Senate conference report stopped short 
of this important clarification by maintaining "the current 
committment to independent producers." The Program 
Fund's budget will probably drop from approximately $25 
million to $21-22 million. 


A new cable trade association focusing on programming and 
production will be announced when the industry stages its 
first cable software symposium and exposition in New 
Orleans. The Cable Television Association of Programmers 
(CTAP) is intended to be similar to the Cable Television 
Association and Marketing Society (CTAM) and NCTA. The 
group will seek out membership from among the industry's 
programming and production personnel and intends to pull 
out the ace awards from the NCTA convention. 

(Reprinted from View magazine.) 


Pop Satellite, a new firm, said it has placed a $1.37 million 
down payment on five transponders on Southern Pacific Com- 
munications' Spacenet I and II satellites. The contract calls 
for a lifetime lease on two Ku band (72 MHz) and 1 C band (72 
MHz) transponders on Spacenet I and two C band trans- 
ponders on Spacenet II. Both birds, the first hybrid satellites 
available for commercial use, are set for launch in 1984. The 

transponders will be used to provide a popular culture net- 
work through a joint venture between Pop Satellite and sister 
company, Pop Network, the two companies said. Program- 
ming will include movies, music, news, science, children's 
shows and cultural programming. The companies are col- 
laborating on several satellite and television ventures, they 

(Reprinted from Multichannel News, Aug. 24.) 


Home Box Office recently sponsored a showing of the three- 
dimensional horror film Revenge of the Creature in a test of 
3-D programming on television. The film, seen by an estimated 
22,000 viewers on Visions and Multivisions cable system in 
Anchorage, was televised in part to test the transfer of 3-D 
film technology to video, according to HBO. The transfer pro- 
cess, provided by 3-D Video Corporation in Hollywood, CA, 
allows television viewers wearing special glasses to see three- 
dimensional images from their television sets. According to 
Jack Lloyd, Visions and Multivisions manager, the experiment 
was "phenomenally successful," although Mr. Lloyd said the 
system received about 30 phone calls from viewers complain- 
ing of blurry images and headaches from wearing the glasses. 
3-D Video provides service for STV service SelecTV, according 
to 3-D Video vice president James Butterfield. Although HBO 
sponsored the movie, it has no plans to introduce three- 
dimensional programming as a new video form at this point, a 
source at HBO said. 

(Reprinted from Multichannel News, Aug. 24.) 


QUBE, Warner Amex Cable's two-way interactive system 
operating in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH (soon in Pitts- 
burgh, PA) seeks to locate special interest instructional pro- 
gramming for its Leisure Time Learning channel, a unique op- 
portunity for producers to test their product on a pay-per-view 
channel. Programs are presented on either a package or pay- 
per-view basis, and may include instructional manuals or 
materials. Examples of courses offered on this channel are: 
Racquetball, Guitar, Golf, Karate, Shorthand, Chinese Cook- 
ing, Bridge, Dance and Gardening. Materials or inquiries 
should be directed to Brenda Davidorf, Director, Program 
Development, Warner Amex Qube, 930 Kinnear Road, Colum- 
bus OH 43212, (614) 481-5345. 


The 3rd International Festival of New Latin American Cinema 
will be held Dec. 4-13, 1981 in Havana, Cuba. 

The Festival is seeking North American films which "support 
Latin America and express our battles and our reality." They 
are also interested in films treating Latin American com- 
munities and culture in North America. 

Fiction, documentary, and animated films will be accepted in 
16 and 35mm. 

Coral prizes (but no cash) will be awarded to works in each 

genre which "contribute most effectively to the discovery, af- 
firmation or enrichment of our own cultural identify, and our 
America's historic-cultural unity. Coral prizes will also be 
awarded to the best films by non-Latin-American filmmakers." 

The FIVF Festival Bureau will be collecting films for group 
shipment by Young Filmakers Foundation and Unifilm, Inc. 
Films must be received in the FIVF office (625 Broadway, New 
York NY 10012, attn: Latin American Festival) no later than 
Nov. 6, 1981 in order to be shipped to Cuba for selection. 
There will be a fee. Please call the office at (212) 473-3400 for 
more information if you are interested in entering. 



an Interview with 
George Griffin 

by Carol Clement 

CC: Why don't you explain your per- 
sonal approach to filmmaking and why 
you do animation. 

GG: The easiest way to answer that is, 
because I've been doing it for so long 
I'm afraid to do anything else. But there 
are a lot of psychological things that 
dovetail. One is that I like to work alone. 
I like to have total control over what it is. 
I like to draw, I like to make things with 
my hands. I like to do things that require 

a great deal of patience and I don't mind 
reworking things again and again until I 
get them just right. It all has to do with 
an attitude towards work that animation 
seems to require. But I suppose I also 
like theatre, illusion, game-playing and 
magic. All these things seem to come 
together with animation. I didn't know 
what I wanted to do before I came to 
New York; I knew I wanted to do 
something with art and politics. My 
tracking was through liberal arts college 
and political science, and I came here to 
get a job and work for government. I 
found after nine months that it was a 
total disaster and I could never com- 
promise to the extent that one must in 
government. So I did a total flop back 
into art. 

CC: What do you see as your relation- 
ship with the audience? 

GG: "The" audience. That's the big 
problem. You must assume that it's 
more than just yourself; that's the first 
rule in my case. I've done some circular 

traveling in that area, doing things just 
for myself or a very small audience, and 
also doing films which, in a sense, are 
collaborations that need to be hooked 
into some larger social entity. 

For instance, I have made films for 
Children's Television Workshop: a huge 
audience, when you come to think of it. I 
have walked by electronics stores and 
looked up to see twenty TV sets 
simultaneously showing a piece of film 
that I did for a few thousand dollars to 
keep myself going. And it's shocking 
because I don't think of it as my work. 
There's almost a formula that the larger 
my audience, the less I feel it's my work. 
I think that holds true with lots of in- 
dependent filmmakers. The assumption 
is that you have to compromise too 
much for a broader public. 

CC: You have worked with everything 
from black beans to xerography. Are 
there any techniques that you can say 
that you have devised or discovered? 

GG: Neither of which are new. Xerox is 
used as a process in part of the cartoon 
industry. My first job in a commercial 
studio was to run a stat camera that 
recorded animator's sequenced draw- 
ings onto eels. It just occurred to me 
while doing this really laborious activity 
that Xerography could be used for so 
much more. Not just color Xerox, as Eli 
Noyes and others have done, but also 
the microfilm printer, which I have used 
in films. Basically, it takes a strip of film 
and turns it into a strip of paper images. 
But then again, that's something used 
by the Library of Congress. I'm not sure 
that they use Xerox, but simply the idea 
of a paper film. It's very attractive to 
those who work with paper originally 
anyway. Somehow technique is one of 
those abstract monsters that can just 
ruin a film. 

CC: A lot of your films seemed based 
very much on personal experience, and 

emphasize the role of the artist and the 
actual technique or process that's going 
on in the film. Is that something you're 
moving toward or away from? 

GG: Moving away from. That's what I 
would call my halcyon technique days. 
The creation of the film was its own sub- 
ject. In the early Seventies and late Six- 
ties there was an attitude toward tech- 
nology and technique that was more 
open and loose and accepting, which 
doesn't prevail today. Anything the 
artist did was appropriate since what 
you were doing was announcing and il- 
lustrating a process. That in itself was 
neutral and therefore objective and in- 

CC: I've always looked at those films as 
a part of an attempt to help develop an 

GG: That might have been very helpful 
and an obvious result of the film, but not 

something that was conscious in the 
early stages. 

CC: By demystifying part of the process 
of how the film was made, and by shar- 
ing and personalizing it, the film became 
more lively and clever than simply tell- 
ing a story. 

GG: The story is then how the film is 
made. That kind of demystification has 
been done since Fleischer's and the 
earliest pioneers' days. I always think of 
it as laying down one more layer of illu- 
sion and magic, because in almost every 
case the process was not really re- 
vealed. The original impulse behind 
revealing the process happened as I was 
shooting, having my face sunburned by 
the lights and being bored to death. 
That is a kind of meditative or heighten- 
ed experience ...not that I'm really a 
mystical sort of person. I'm very 
pragmatic and down to earth, generally. 
But I think that through that sort of 

humdrum activity even the lowliest of us 
can become exalted in a small way. I felt 
that if that kind of experience could be 
imposed or allowed to seep in, it would 
make an interesting film. 

My movement toward going into books 
and printing has also been that same 
tendency to reveal some kind of pro- 
cess: returning to the original material, 
which is paper and ink or pencil, so that 
the audience, which in this case would 
be a single person, would have the same 
tactile approach to the idea as I have 
when I'm doing it. Returning to pages, 
to randomly accessible book-like work, 
is something I'm very happy to do now. I 
started to make flipbooks at the same 
time that I started to make films, little 
hand-drawn films. When I say returning 
to bookmaking, it's because it hasn't 
been some kind of linear development. I 
haven't arrived at some plateau, I've 
come back full circle. 

CC: You said that you like to work 
alone, but there must be some points at 
which you collaborate, say in terms of 

GG: In my last film, called Flying Fur, I 
took a sound track from a Tom and Jerry 

cartoon from the Forties. The whole 
idea was to take a finished Tom aural 
track and use it verbatum, like a long 
quote, then to rework it and impose my 
own sense of synchronization. I thought 
of it as a collaboration. 

CC: Through history. 

GG: The other side being Scott Bradley, 
who was the composer for all the Tom 
and Jerry's; in fact, most of the MGM 
films from a certain period. It's a very 
highly textured and marvelous sound- 

track. It had all the cartoon effects, jazzy 
versions of all kinds of popular songs, 
intertwined with crazy breakneck pac- 
ing, changes of pace and motion 
throughout, all in seven minutes. I took 
this, and without ever seeing the film 
laid on my own visual interpretation, 
which really had nothing to do with Tom 
and Jerry, although it did have every- 
thing to do with cartoon chases, speed, 
slapstick, all kinds of animals: a cat, a 
mouse, a dog, a wolf, the square man 
that I've used a lot. It's a menagerie of 
chase scenes with the chaser being 
chased and so on, and with no narrative 
sense to it at all, although there are 
pieces of narrative throughout. It's a 
puzzle that even I couldn't figure out. 
I'm still trying. 

CC: Are you going to see the original 

GG: I've thought about projecting them 
simultaneously on an opaque screen so 
that on one side you'd see the Tom and 
Jerry version and on the other side 
you'd see mine. At no time could you 
ever see both simultaneously. 

CC: You coordinated the book Frames, 
which brings a number of animators' 
work together in a book format, and the 
Flip-Pack, a series of flip books. 

GG: Those have been surrogate feature 
films. My sense of organizing is still fair- 
ly primitive and I'd much prefer to pro- 
duce alone, which is what happened in 
both those projects. I immensely en- 
joyed the communication that happened 
in both projects with all the artists in- 
volved, and also the whole notion of 
marketing them. Not that I'm that suc- 
cessful at it, but I think it's something 


that goes back to that original question 
of who your audience is. I'm discovering 
who the audience is for flipbooks. I still 
have my faith that it's larger and more 
varied than it has seemed. 

Part of the problem has been to find a 
middle person, to find the ways of retail- 
ing it, getting it out to a larger audience. 
Distribution: it's the same old bugaboo 
that filmmakers have. I've thought about 
peddling them on the corner. As much 
as one can laugh at that, it might be the 
best way: to go out to a crowded corner, 
grin and bear it, swallow your pride and 
stand there, waving these things, flip- 
ping them. 

CC: There is the Animator's Gallery, 
which is an attempt to expand the 
market for animation by marketing the 
different forms of artwork another way. 




.-■ ... 


GG: I've never thought about selling 
drawings. Frankly, I've been too much in 
love with them, and also hate them too 
much, too. They just don't appeal to me 
as individual drawings. Some animators 
draw very fine illustrations; in fact their 
work depends on it. My work has tended 
to be more directed toward the flow of 
images, so an individual one doesn't 
really hold up as a drawing. 

A book of drawings appeals to me much 
more, a book which would have to be 
flipped or at least the pages turned to 
give a sense of continuity. It has to do 
with the freedom that you allow the 
viewer. There's some streak in me that 
doesn't want to give up that freedom. 

CC: Isn't there an animators' group that 
meets irregularly here in the city? 

GG: That's something like the books, 
an outgrowth of both my feelings and 
other people's feelings that working 
alone really can be the pits after months 
and months of not getting any feedback. 
Actually, Mary Beams and Suzan Pitt 
were doing this in Cambridge where 
there's a higher consciousness evolved 
having to do with meetings. I'm not a 
meeting-going person generally. But I 
went to a few of Mary's meetings, as I 
can call them now, which were just 
about six or eight people. Many of those 
people have now come to New York and 
were instrumental in starting something 
here. It's been going on, fluctuating, for 
three, four years. It started out as just 
friends meeting, maybe a dozen people. 

And it got larger and larger. We did a 
few projects. Actually, Frames was a 
project that grew out of that meeting 

This past year and a half or so, it's 
mushroomed into a larger entity. And 
we started meeting much less frequent- 
ly. We met at AIVF a few times. People 
came and showed work; it was amazing 
how much work was out there. 

I'd like to think that the gallery came out 
of the sense that there was a communi- 
ty of animators here. There have been 
other shows, too, like the one at the 
Drawing Center a few years ago, and of 
course, the Whitney Disney show, now. 
That's totally unrelated to our group, but 
maybe it's had some kind of an effect on 
it. It has had an effect on me, I know 

It was a rather moving experience, 
because I've always dumped on Disney. 
When you're starting out on your own, 
it's important to kill your cultural/artistic 
fathers, because otherwise you'll be in 
their shadows forever. There are people 
who either follow his tradition or feel 
they have to one-up Disney. But that's 
ridiculous. It's like trying to better 
Detroit in the Thirties. They made a cer- 
tain kind of automobile then, which is 
very beautiful now, as a piece of furni- 
ture. And the same thing is true of the 
cartoons. They're very beautiful. The 
Silly Symphonies, some of the Tex 
Avery things; even until the Fifties, 
there's so much to admire. As a model 
for an independent animator, they're in- 
appropriate, though, in terms of scale 
and audience. 

CC: I like that you've called him a father 
figure, which he is, partly because I've 
thought of all that hard-edged eel, 
industry-produced animation as the 
male versus female — the female being 
personal, independent animation. They 
are sort of a yin/yang, hard/soft, 
male/female dichotomy. 

GG: It holds true, too, because the 
studio system is very hierarchical and 
very male-dominated. Now it's con- 
sidered possible for women to be 
animators but it wasn't then. They had 
one token woman background painter or 

CC: Wouldn't you say that among in- 
dependent animators there are more 

GG: I think it's very possible. One of the 
reasons might have to do with the sense 
of interacting with other people, with a 
crew. I personally find it very difficult, 
and I think that it might be difficult for 
women too, to direct other people, 
women or men. The ability, the freedom 
to sit down and do it all yourself might 
be very appealing to someone who 
didn't want to deal with the politics in- 
volved in directing other people. When 
you're working in a studio, you are in a 
political situation. You're either giving 
orders or taking them, and for a woman 
who is highly evolved in some way, it 
might be very difficult to take orders 
from some asshole. That might be just 
one very minor aspect of it. It may have 
a lot to do with aesthetic concerns, as 
you say, the soft edge, the more direct 
approach that most independent 
animators move to. 

CC: Are you interested in doing live ac- 
tion films? 

GG: Live action has always appealed to 
me, but primarily in contradiction to syn- 
thetically created motion. In Head, for 
example, I took live action and I played 
with in in synthetic time. I have made 
live action films, one with Dee Dee 
Halleck about the Bread and Puppet 
Theatre, for instance. And I have in- 
cluded live action — not as I've just 
described it, but for itself — in films. 
But I've also made films like Meadows 
Green, which is mostly live with only a 
few bits of animation for spice. 

CC: What about Trikfilm? 

GG: Yeah, the whole idea of having 
some kind of live-action dream se- 
quence in a totally animated film is a sly 
reversal of the way it's usually treated. 

My next project will probably include a 
great deal of live-action sequences. The 
film is going to be a mosaic of food 
culture. I would like to do something 
which would be a half-hour or longer. It 
might be suitable for television with its 
large audience, but I'll retain a personal 
perspective so I can think of it as my 
film. The form I've tinkered with so far is 
a food alphabet. It would be 26 mini- 
films on subjects as diverse as world 
hunger, nutrition, the gourmet industry, 
agribusiness, food distribution, the 
commodities market, the Wednesday 
New York Times, supermarkets, fast 

food, slow food, how-to-eat, how one 
prepares food. I could see live-action se- 
quences of vegetable chopping in ex- 
treme close-up. I could see cartoon se- 
quences of various styles of animation 
(here comes the collaboration bit) which 
can occupy discreet portions in the film. 
They would interrelate, not sequentially, 
but you'd have to make leapfrog and 
sideways jumps to make connections. 
So I see the film as being funny, parts 
being serious, parts being live, parts 
animated, parts being pure graphics. 

While I was finishing Lineage, the no- 
tion of who I was making the films for 
dawned on me. I'm an avid food thinker 
and food person. In my family, I'm the 


cook, and I inherited that from my 
mother. I got the art from my father. 
Now I see that cooking is indeed an art 
and is very much connected to the way I 
approach art. So I'm very much looking 
forward to doing this film. 

I might start inventing my own alphabet, 
getting sidetracked into something else, 
and perhaps the alphabet will re-enter 
the picture a half hour later in some 
altered form. I'm not sure at this point. 
I'll start hanging it together, and then I'll 
start to break things up. It's the way I 
work. I have ideas, I keep notebooks, I 
keep cards, I reshuffle the cards, I might 
even make the film and tear it up to see 
what comes apart most easily. So the 
alphabet might just get chucked 

somewhere along the line. I think it has 
something to do with reworking a genre 
established by Sesame Street. 

CC: Yes, It's in our culture. 

GG: It's in our bloodstream. 

Frames: a Selection of Drawings and 
Statements by Independent American 
Animators, by George Griffin, can be ob- 
tained for $5.00 plus $1.00 postage from 
AIVF, 625 Broadway, NY NY 10024. 

Flip-Pack, a boxed series of six 
animators' flipbooks, can be ordered for 
$20 postpaid from: Metropolis Graphics, 
28 East 4 Street, NY NY 10003. 

George's films can be rented or pur- 
chased from: Serious Business Co., 
1145 Mandana Blvd., Oakland CA 94610. 






Fold vertically 

frame 1 

Fold in half 

frame 1 

Fold again and cut 


The AIVF/FIVF Board met on July 7, 1981. Complete minutes 
are available from AIVF. The highlights of the meeting were as 

of the Independent Documentary Fund, appealed to the AIVF 
Board for a letter supporting IDF in its request for funds from 
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). After heated 
debate, the Board resolved to draft such a letter, linking its 
support to IDF's use of peer panel review, the understanding 
that 100% of any CPB funds would go to the producers and 
the further understanding that such CPB support would be 
above and beyond current and contemplated commitments to 

INDEPENDENT FOCUS — At a meeting with representatives 
of AIVF and the Film Fund, WNET's new Metropolitan Division 
head H. Carl McCall reiterated his intention to continue the 
Independent Focus series and the peer review selection 
process (see THE INDEPENDENT, Summer '81 Issue, 
Correspondence). The Metropolitan Division has expressed an 
interest in working more closely with local independents. 

will be co-sponsoring a seminar on developments in alter- 
native feature film financing, to coincide with the IFP Market, 
on September 26, 1981. Board members expressed concern 
that there be a reduced admission fee for AIVF members, and 
that some scholarships be made available. 

HEALTH PLAN — Over 100 members have responded to 

AlVF's questionnaire about a possible health insurance plan. 
Responses have been given to a broker who will determine 
whether a plan is feasible. 

SKILLS DIRECTORY — AIVF is negotiating with Knowledge 
Industries for the publication of an AIVF membership and 
skills directory. Such a directory would be tremendously 
helpful for job referrals and national membership develop- 

REGIONAL STRUCTURES — Director Larry Sapadin ex- 
pressed the view that the time had come for AIVF to develop 
regional sections or chapters. A committee was formed to 
come up with ideas about the best approach for AIVF. 

ADVISORY BOARD — The Board gave the green light for the 
establishment of an advisory board. The purpose of such a 
board would be to broaden the range of experience and in- 
sight available to the association in this next period. 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS — New officers are: President — 
Jane Morrison; Vice President — Marc Weiss; Chairperson — 
Richard Schmiechen; Secretary — Kathy Kline; Treasurer — 
Matt Clarke. Matt Clarke was appointed by unanimous vote to 
serve on the FIVF Board. 

Board meetings are open to the public. Members are en- 
couraged to attend and participate. If you wish to put an item 
on the agenda, mail your request to Chairperson Richard 
Schmiechen do AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 
10012. For more information, call (212) 473-3400. 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 


16mm & 35mm 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 243-3550 




RENT: Film and tape, 25' x 36' with 
18' ceiling, full lighting & grip 
package, equipped with grid & cat- 
walk, fully air-conditioned, 600-amp 
service. Contact: Robert Aden, 
Studio Manager, Atelier Cinema 
Video Stages, (212) 243-3550, 

FOR RENT: 1981 model Steenbeck 
8-plate in your location. Contact: 
Klatufilms, (212) 928-2407, 795-3372. 

FOR RENT: Front & rear projection 
screens available for any purpose. 
Consultation & installation for all 
projections & exhibitions. Contact: 
Klatufilms, (212) 928-2407, 795-3372. 

FOR SALE: Canon Scoopic, $1000, 
includes new batteries & charger. 
Kit includes filters & case. Fully ser- 
viced by Camera Mart. Contact: 
Klatufilms, (212) 928-2407, 795-3372. 

FOR SALE: Wollensak WF-4 high- 
speed motion picture camera, 400 
ft. capacity, 350-9000fps. Complete 
package $800. Call: (612) 872-0804. 

FOR RENT: Film: complete editing 
room with 16mm 6-plate Steenbeck. 
Sound transfers also available. 
Video: Complete 3/4" Panasonic 
NV9600 video editing room 
available. Call: (212) 486-9020. 

FOR SALE: 4-plate Moviola flatbed 
editing machine. Privately owned, 
perfect condition. $4800. Call: (212) 

free listings of used TV equipment 
for sale. Contact: Walt Shubin, Bill 
Seidel, SA, 5801 Uplander Way, 
Culver City CA 90230, (213) 

ing equipment for sale: JVC CR- 
4400U, $1000; JVC KY-2000 camera, 
used 15 months, incl. 3 new tubes, 
$5800; JVC editing system, 2 CR- 
8500LU VTRs, 1 RM-85U controller, 
used 18 months, $8500; Sony 
DXC-1610 camera, $800; Tektronix 
528 waveform monitor, $1000; 
Graflex 16 telecine film projector, 
incl. 2" f1.6 lens, $1000, film chain, 

Zei Mart 3 port, incl. 2 Kodak 
Ektragraphic 35mm AF2 slide pro- 
jectors, Media Master 400 dissolve 
control unit, $900. Also, 1/2" open- 
reel portable and editing VTR's. All 
equipment in excellent working con- 
dition. Some prices negotiable. Call: 
Bob Shea, Jeff Mead, PC, 1255 
University Ave., Rochester NY 
14607, (716) 442-3886. 

FOR SALE: Nagra III, Switar 10mm 
F1.6 lens, optical printer, 16mm 
upright Moviola. Call: (212) 486-9020. 

FOR SALE: ST1900 Steenbeck, 
6-plate, complete. Privately owned 
creampuff. $15,000. Also, Miller's 
head tripod with spider, new: $400. 
Call: (212) 966-5944. 

FOR SALE: Frezzolini conversion of 
SS-111 (General Camera), crystal 
sync, on board batt. with 2 batteries 
& chargers, 2 400-ft. mags, sturdy 
shipping case, 915-95 Angenieux 
lens, changing bag, $4100. NCE 
fluid/friction head with new legs, 
stay sets, $325. Contact: Dan, (212) 

FOR SALE: Non-reflex Bolex with 2 
lenses, $75. Call: (212) 691-3470. 

FOR SALE: Sony Betamax recorder, 
camera, AC power pack & battery. 
Suggested retail price: $2400. Best 
offer, must sell to finish current film 
project. Please call: Joan, (212) 

FOR SALE: Sony VO-3800, color por- 
table 3/4" videocassette recorder 
with AC/color adaptor AC-3000, RF 
module & service manual. Excellent 
condition, $1200. Call: (212) 

WANTED: Super 16mm camera for 
use on low-budget feature film. 
Please contact: Bob Nucci, 1159 
Commerce Ave., Union NJ 07083. 

FOR SALE: Eclair NPR camera 
package. Excellent condition, ac- 
cepts CA-1 & C mount lenses. Beala 
III motor, 12-volt DC motor is crystal 
controlled at 24-25 fps, with variable 
speed from 4 to 40 fps, also a 
rheostat and tachometer control, 
Kinoptik viewfinder, 2 400-ft. mags, 
Angenieux 12-120mm, f2.2 lens, 
plus other features. Also Cine 60 

powerbelt battery, new case for 
camera & mag, changing bag and 
slates. Call: (212) 966-6657. 


conjunction with the Columbia 
Business School will co-sponsor a 
four-day conference on Corporate 
Applications of interactive Video- 
discs, November 3-6 at Columbia 
Business School, Uris Hall, Broad- 
way & 1 16 St. in New York. For more 
info: Davia Temin, Columbia 
Business School, (212) 280-2747 or 
Miriam Warner at AVI, (212) 


4-6, Hilton Inn, Albuquerque NM. 
For more info: NTA, 36 South State 
St., Suite 2100, Salt Lake City UT 
84147, (801) 237-2623. 

4-9. Contact: Ed Richardson, NAVA 
Institute, Indiana University, A-V 
Center, Bloomington IN 47401. 

7-10, 1982. Conference will address 
The Film Process: Writers, Pro- 
ducers, Directors, Distributors, Ex- 
hibitors, Spectators. Persons in- 
terested in chairing a panel on 
above topics should contact: Peter 
Lehman, Conference Director. Per- 
sons interested in submitting a 
paper on above topics should sub- 
mit work to: Annette Preuss, Con- 
ference Coordinator. For general 
info: Athens Center for Film and 
Video, PO Box 388, Athens OH 
45701, (614) 594-6888. 

NEW MEDIUM co-sponsoring free 
workshop on Channeling the 
Future: Cable TV and the New 
Markets, October 9, Alice Tully Hall, 
Lincoln Center. For reservations & 
info: NM, 1 Lincoln Plaza, 4th Fl., 
New York NY 10023, (212) 595-4844. 

VIDEO EXPO, Oct. 20-22, Madison 
Square Garden, New York NY. Spon- 


sored by Knowledge Industry Publi- 
cations, 701 Westchester Ave., 
White Plains NY 10604. 

Seminars: Oct. 8, 9 — Dallas; Oct. 
15, 16 — Chicago; Nov. 9, 10 — 
Seattle, Nov. 19, 20 — San Fran- 
cisco; Nov. 30, Dec. 1 — Boston; 
Dec. 3, 4 — Ft. Lauderdale. Spon- 
sored by the University of Detroit. 
For entry forms & workshop reser- 
vations: Division of Continuing 
Education, Univ. of Detroit, 4001 W. 
McNichols Rd., Detroit Ml 48221, 
(313) 927-1027. 

animation & Super-8 classes this 
fall after school, evenings & on 
Saturdays for all ages. For more 
info: AMPTF, 35-11 35th Ave., 
Astoria NY 11106, (212) 784-4520. 

offers audiotape workshop on 
National Catholic Telecommunica- 
tions Network. Tapes provide over- 
view of NCTN, satellite info, pro- 
gramming & explanation of the 
Earth station. Discussions led by 
Father Michael Dempsey, with com- 
ments by Richard H. Hirsch, USC 
Sec'ty for Communication. 90 min. 
cassette, $6.50, can be ordered 
from: Office of Publishing Services, 
USCC, 1312 Massachusetts Ave. 
NW, Washington DC 20005, (202) 

FILM CENTERS, Oct. 10-14, Sun 
Valley ID. COntact: Kahn Hassau, 
Idaho State University, Audio Visual 
Services, Campus Box 8064, 
Pocatello ID 83209, (208) 236-3212. 

13-17, Milwaukee Wl. Contact: 
Deryck & Martha Calderwood, 
Film/Video Co-Chairpersons, c/o 
NCFR, 1219 University Ave., Min- 
neapolis MN 55415, (612) 331-2774. 

INC. meeting, Oct. 15-18, Cincinnati 
OH. Contact: WIC, PO Box 9651, 
Austin TX 78766, (512) 345-8922. 

VIDEODISC, Oct. 21-23, Lincoln NE. 
Contact: Kurt Brandhorse, Dept. of 
Conferences, Univ. of NE, Lincoln 
NE 68583, (402) 472-2844. 

& EQUIPMENT SHOW, Oct. 25-30, 
Los Angeles CA. Contact: SMPTE, 
862 Scarsdale Ave., Scarsdale NY 

MOVING IMAGES, Oct. 28-31, 
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and 
Sciences, Los Angeles CA. Contact: 
Audrey Kupferberg, American Film 
Institute, Kennedy Center, 
Washington DC 20566, (202) 

FERENCE, Nov. 8-10, Minneapolis 
MN. For info: University Community 
Video, 425 Ontario SE, Minneapolis 
MN 55414, (612) 376-3333. 

MEDIA, Oct. 29-31, Chicago IL For 
info: Pro & Co Screening Board Inc., 
226 S. Wabash, Chicago IL 60604, 

FUTURE CAST '81, NAEB's annual 
conference, Nov. 1-4, New Orleans 
LA. For info: Mark Tebbano, NAEB, 
1346 Connecticut Ave. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 


FOR RENT: 2-picture 16/35 KEM in 
fully-equipped editing room near 11 
St. and Broadway. Contact: Charles 
Light, (212) 473-8043, or Jacki, (212) 

CONVENIENT, QUIET 24-hour ac- 
cess editing room for rent. Fully 
equipped with 8-plate Steenbeck, 
powered Steenbeck rewind table, 2 
trim bins, Rivas splicer, split reels, 
synchronizer, viewer, etc. Screening 
room & 16mm mag transfer facili" 
ties also available. Non-smokers 
preferred. $750/month; $250/week; 
$60/day. Telephone extra. Contact: 
Anomaly Films, (212) 925-1500. 

FACILITIES available. Fully- 

equipped rooms. Two 6-plate 
Steenbeck, 16/35 KEM, sound 
transfers from 1/4" to 16mm & 
35mm mag, narration recording, ex- 
tensive sound effects library, inter- 
lock screening room. Contact 
Cinetudes Film Productions, Ltd., 
295 West 4 St., New York NY 10014, 
(212) 966-4600. 

Quick, efficient synching of 16mm 
dailies and track. I have equipment. 
Call: Terry, (212) 658-5270. 

FOR RENT: 6-plate Steenbeck, 
16/35mm, with or without room. 
Contact: Ernest Hood, Cabin Creek 
Center, (212) 533-7157. 

FOR RENT: Moviola flatbed editing 
tables, 4- & 6-plate available. Call: 
(212) 877-4085. 


17. For festival information: JVC 
Tokyo Video Festival, c/o Burson- 
Marsteller, 866 Third Ave., New York 
NY 10022, (212) 752-8610. 

will show results of national video 
competition Oct. 9 & 10, 16 & 17 at 
the Just Above Midtown Gallery, 
178 Franklin St., New York NY. For 
more info: Gloria Deitcher, D. 
Visions, 105 Hudson St., Suite 408, 
New York NY 10013, (212) 226-0338. 

FILM WEEK for Cinema & TV, Nov. 
20-27. Deadline for entries: Oct. 5. 
Contact: Ronald Trisch, Festival 
Director, Internationale Leipziger 
Dokumentar unc (urzfilmwoche fur 
Kino Fernsehen, DDR-1055 Berlin, 
Christburger Strasse 38, West Ger- 
many, (Tel.: 4 39 19 02). 

Deadline for entries: Oct. 7. Spon- 
sored by EVOL Film Society, in 
cooperation with American Univer- 
sity's Media Center. For more info: 
Super-8 '81, 1601 Connecticut Ave. 
NW, Washington DC 20009, (202) 



FESTIVAL, last Friday of each 
month. Selection will be first come, 
first served. For more info: 
CGCFFA, Middle Collegiate Church, 
50 East 7 St., New York NY (212) 
477-0666, 260-2123. 

16-Apr. 3 '82. Deadline for entries: 
Dec. 1. For applications, contact: 
Filmex, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Holly- 
wood CA 90028, (213) 469-9400. 

27-Mar. 7 '82. Deadline for entries: 
Dec. 15. Marie-Christine de 
Navacelle, Festival Director, & 
Catherine Blangonnet, Delegate for 
the Selection Committee, will be in 
New York Oct. 16-23. NY Deadline: 
Oct 14. To contact them, call or 
write: Xavier North, French Em- 
bassy — Services Culturels, 972 
Fifth Ave., New York NY 10021, (212) 
570-4415, 570-4420. For festival in- 
formation: Cinema du reel, Centre 
Georges Pompidou, 75191 Paris, 
France (telephone: 277 12 333). 

FESTIVAL, Jan. 2-10 '82. Deadline 
for entries: Dec. 20. For more info: 
H. Werner Buck Enterprises, 1050 
Gerogia St., Los Angeles CA 90015, 
(213) 749-9331. 

FESTIVAL, Feb. 1-3 '82. Deadline for 
entries: Nov. 25. For entry info: 
Louis Reile, Executive Director, 
Hemisfilm, International Fine Arts 
Center of the Southwest, 1 Camino 
Santa Maria, San Antonio TX 78284, 
(512) 436-3209. 

American Film Institute are present- 
ing a second festival honoring 
women professionals in film & 
video, Sept. 8 through Oct. 15, JFK 
Center for the Performing Arts, 
Washington DC. For more info: 
Kitty King, (202) 356-5439, Chris 
Warden, (212) 529-6569. 


FILM FESTIVAL, Nov. 4-6. For more 
info: Rehabfilm, 20 West 40 St., New 
York NY 10018, (212) 869-0460. 

Oct. 17 & 18. Sponsored by the 
American Museum of Natural 
History, the festival will fill the 
weekend with 40 films running con- 
tinuously from 11 am-5 pm. For 
more info: MMFF, AMNH, Central 
Park West at 79th St., New York NY 
10024, (212) 873-1300. 

Nov. 7 & 8. Deadline for entries: Oct. 
20. For more info: John Columbus, 
c/o The Edison National Historic 
Site, Main St. & Lakeside Ave., West 
Orange NJ 07052. 


GOOD THINKING, show about 
Yankee ingenuity in the 80's, seek- 
ing quality films & tapes less than 
10 minutes (or editable to that 
length) of unique innovations & in- 
novators. Subjects can range from 
practical soft-tech to outlandish 
non-tech. Competitive range. Send 
synopsis, format & length to: GT, 
WTBS, 1050 Techwood Dr. NW, 
Atlanta GA 30318, (404) 892-1717. 

wanted for distribution. Small com- 
pany, good sales record, personal 
product attention. Open to different 
distribution arrangements. Contact: 
Peter Lodge, Circle Oak Produc- 
tions, 73 Girdle Ridge Dr., Katonah 
NY 10536, (914)232-9451. 

Third Eye Films, distributor of 
award-winning films, seeks 
children's entertainment shorts & 
energy/conservation documentaries 
for distribution to non-broadcast & 
TV markets. If interested, please 
contact: Jamil Simon, TEF, 12 Arrow 
St., Cambridge MA 02138, (617) 

length, sound effects & music in- 
cluded. Should also be thoroughly 

original, any genre acceptable — 
comedy, mystery, science fiction, 
experimental, etc. Send submis- 
sions to: Betsy Hills, On Cue, 65 
South Bldg., 51 West 4 St., New 
York NY 10003. 

ACCESS ATLANTA seeking video- 
tapes of any length or content for 
weekly show, For More Information, 
broadcast on cable channel 16 from 
Atlanta. Tapes can be 3/4" cassette, 
Beta or VHS. Not able at this time to 
pay for works used. Contact: 
Annette Haywood, Program Coor- 
dinator, AA, PO Box 5289, Atlanta 
GA 30307, (404) 523-1333. 

tributes 16mm films to non- 
theatrical outlets. Contact: 
Christopher Wood, DF, 159 West 53 
St., New York NY 10019, (212) 

LTD distributes 35/16mm films to 
theatrical, non-theatrical, overseas 
markets & TV outlets. Contact: 
Christopher Wood, IFE, 159 West 53 
St., New York NY, (212) 582-4318. 

using U-matic broadcast equipment 
as well as 16mm facilities, looking 
for entertainment materials on film 
or cassettes (for broadcast on the 
PAL color TV system), especially 
30-60 min. musical, sports or drama 
programming. Contact: H.B. 
Ng'weno, Managing Director, 
Stellacommunications Ltd., 1st 
floor, Peponi House, Moi AVe., 
Mugang'a Road, PO Box 67919, 
Nairobi, Kenya. Telex: Nairobi 

INROADS is a non-profit media 
center designed to develop, display 
& promote multi-media works. In 
Sept., they began a Wed. night 
series of film, video & slide screen- 
ings. Please send work to: Hinda 
Obstfeld or Arlene Zeichner, In- 
roads, 150 Mercer St., New York NY 
10012, (212) 226-6622. 

CENTER is interested in obtaining 


& showing videotapes to visitor/ 
guest audiences. Please contact: 
Paul Gershowitz, Director, MASC, 
228 Main St., Poughkeepsie NY 
12601, (914)471-1155. 


DATION has been awarded a grant 
of $40,000 from the Rockefeller 
Foundation. The grant will allow for 
expansion of BF/VF's video produc- 
tion and post-production facilities. 
For more info: BF/VF, 1126 Boylston 
St., Boston MA 02215, (617) 

Arts: Film/Radio/TV: Workshops & 
Residencies — Oct. 9. American 
Film Institute/NEA Film Preserva- 
tion Program — Nov. 16. For more 
info: NEA, 2401 E St. NW, Washing- 
ton DC 20506. 

$90,000 to Film in the Cities. The 
grant also provides matching funds 
for a $300,000 Challenge Grant from 
the NEA, awarded to FITC in Dec. 
For more info: FTIC, 2388 University 
Ave., St. Paul MN 55114, (612) 

ARTS awarded Appalshop two 
grants of $5,000 each for the pro- 
duction of new scripts, & produc- 
tion of videotapes on Virginia folk 
artists. For more info: VCFTA, 400 
East Grace St., Richmond VA 23219. 

HUMANITIES' upcoming deadline 
for Humanities in Public Policy & 
for Local and Cultural History is 

Oct. 31. Contact: CCFRH, 312 Sutter 
St., suite 601, San Francisco CA 
94108, (415) 391-1474. 

MEDIA BUREAU, The Kitchen 
Center provides funds for public 
screenings of videotapes, speaker's 
fees, performances of multi-media 
works, demonstrations, workshops, 
short residencies, technical assis- 
tance, research projects, lectures, 
travel & rental expenses relating 

directly to these projects. For more 
info: MB, KC, 484 Broome St., New 
York NY 10013, (212) 925-3615. 

awarded $25,097 from the Media 
Program of the New York State 
Council on the Arts. The funding 
will be used to help run Locus' 3 
main programs: low-cost portable 
video equipment loans, hands-on 
workshops in 3/4" video, & 
technical & production assistance. 
For more info: LC, 250 West 57 St., 
Suite 1228, New York NY 10019, 
(212) 757-4220. 

tion for Proposals: Program Fund of 
CPB invites independents to submit 
program proposals for second 
season of the Matters of Life & 
Death anthology. All proposals 
must be received by close of 
business (5:30 pm) on Friday, Oct. 
30. For submission guidelines & 
entry form, write: Eloise Payne, Pro- 
gram Fund, CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 

will offer grants of $500-$5,500 this 
year to individual artists to help 
defray the cost of independent arts, 
& to encourage the work of Min- 
nesota artists. Deadline: Oct. 13 for 
performing artists & Jan. 14 '82 for 
visual & literary artists. For info: 
MSAB, 2500 Park Ave., Minneapolis 
MN 55404, (612) 341-7170 or (800) 

has been awarded a $40,000 grant 
from the Rockefeller Foundation to 
upgrade its television facilities & 
services. For more info: YF/VA, 4 
Rivington St., New York NY 10002, 

PRODUCERS (ICAP) has been 
awarded $15,000 from the NEA, & 
$40,000 from the John & Mary R. 
Markle Foundation. The grant from 
the Markle Foundation will enable 
ICAP's programming service to ex- 
pand its marketing capability to 
offer independent film & video pro- 
gramming packages geared to the 

expanding needs of the cable 
market. For more info: ICAP, 625 
Broadway, New York NY 10012, 
(212) 533-9180. 

NEA DEADLINES: Media Arts, Film/ 
Radio/Television: Workshops & 
Residencies: Oct. 9; American Film 
Institute/NEA Film Preservation 
Program: Nov. 16. For more info: 
NEA, 2401 E St. NW, Washington 
DC 20506, (202) 634-6300. 

FOUNDATION announce the crea- 
tion of a special programming unit 
at WNYC entitled Black Film Focus. 
BFF will serve as liaison to the in- 
dependent film & video community, 
and assist the station with develop- 
ment & acquisition of independent 
programming. WNYC will house 
BFF's library of videocassettes, 
books and news clippings on black 
independent cinema. For more info: 
BFF, 1 Centre St., New York NY 
10007, (212) 619-2480. 

issued an invitation to independent 
producers and public TV stations to 
submit proposals for the second 
season of the Matters of Life and 
Death anthology. Deadline for sub- 
mission is Oct. 30. For more info, 
write: Matters of Life and Death, PF, 
CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, Washington 
DC 20037. 

PROGRAM has compiled a slide 
reference and resource library to 
facilitate the selection of exhibi- 
tions and related programming. 
Library access is by appointment 
only. Contact: Nancy Shinder, 
Stewart Turnquist, (612) 870-3125. 

COUZENS are operating a public 
interest-oriented low-power TV con- 
sulting firm. Contact: PT or MC, 
Television Center, Suite 801, 1629 K 
St. NW, Washington DC 20006. 

BROADCASTING awarded special 
grants to 4 minority-controlled radio 
projects totalling almost $120,000. 
The stations are: Round Valley Inter- 
Tribal Radio Project, Inc., Covelo 



CA; WJSU-FM, Jackson MS; KAZI- 
FM, Austin TX; and KIDE-FM, Hoopa 
CA. For more info: S.L. Harrison, 
Director, Corporate Communica- 
tions, CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 

LEWIS FREEDMAN announced that 
21 projects have been selected for 
development as scripts or dramatic 
treatments out of 565 proposals 
submitted in the second part of the 
National Television Theatre Invita- 
tion for Proposals. The projects 
selected are: Slices of Life by Cecil 
M. Brown & Carol M. Lawrence; The 
Hounds of Faith by Joyce Keener; 
Kaddish and Old Men by Harvey 
Fierstein, Weegee the Famous by 
Mark Obenhaus, Bessie Smith — 
Nobody's Child by Sharon Elizabeth 
Doyle, Desert Bloom by Eugene 
Corr, Living on the Edge by Joel 
Sucher, Steven Fischler & Lora 
Myers; Court-Martial of an Unknown 
Soldier by Karl Evans; John Willie 
Reed: An Epitaph by Toni Cade 
Bambara; King of a Captive People 
by Jon P. Palmer & Avon Kirkland; 
The Brixton Recovery by Jack 
Gilhooley; Goind Blind by Jonathan 
Penner; A Prior Claim by John Rolfe 
Gardiner; Grab a Hung of Lighten- 
ing by Ira Eisenberg; Down the 
Rabbit Hole: An Urban Fantasy by 
Jo Comanor Tavener; Silk by 
Rosemary Puglia Ritvo; High 
Cockalorum by Joan Vail Thorne; 
The Whale Hunter by Annick Smith; 
After the Revolution by Nadja 
Tesich; Chola by Lourdes Portillo; & 
Rosa Linda by Rudolpho A. Anaya. 
For more info: CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 


MAD RIVER, a 1-hour documentary 
made for CPB's Crisis-to-Crisis 
series, will be completed late 
fall'81. The film is about plant 
closures & environmental damage 
in the Redwood region of northern 
CA. Seeking complementary 30- 
minute film for shared distribution/ 

promotion/festival opportunities. 
Contact: Mark Freeman, Fine Line 
Films, 1101 Masonic Ave., San Fran- 
cisco CA 94117, (415) 861-3885. 

to announce the completion of 
In Our Own Backyards: Uranium 
Mining in the United States, a 16mm 
coL, documentary produced & 
directed by Susanna Styron & 
Pamela Jones. For more info: 
Susanna Styron (212) 255-7555, or 
Pamela Jones (203) 227-3213. 

JANE?, a 90-minute color comedy 
film about Sujana, a San Francisco 
New Wave artist, is currently in pro- 
duction & was screened as part of 
Film Arts Foundation's Works-ln- 
Progress screening program in 
September. Director: Mark Huestis. 
For more info: FAF, 2940 16th St., 
#310, San Francisco CA 94103, (415) 

scratch, i write, 60-minute color 
documentary following the career of 
60's poet, d.a. levy of Cleveland, pro- 
duced by Konstantine Petrochuk; 
The Probable Passing of Elk Creek, 
an hour-long color documentary ex- 
ploring the impact of the proposed 
90,000-acre Glenn Reservoir on the 
communities of Elk Creek CA & 
Grindstone Indian Rancheria, pro- 
duced by Rob Wilson. For more 
info: FAF, 2940 16 St., #310, San 
Francisco CA 94103, (415) 552-8760. 

CATHARSIS, produced by Karl 
Drogstad, has completed produc- 
tion. For distribution information, 
contact: Karl Krogstad, Krogstad 
Studios, 115 14th Ave. South, 
Seattle Wa 98144, (206) 325-2323. 

announced a multi-faceted produc- 
tion agreement with the Hudson 
River Film Company: the company 
will supply WNET with NYC area 
interviews & a 3-hour documentary 
on the history of NYC. For more 
info: Laureen Straub, WNET, 356 
West 58 St., New York NY 10019, 
(212) 560-3014. 

are in production on a film tentative- 
ly entitled In Heaven There Is No 
Beer?, a 60-minute film about 
polkas; editing is now being com- 
pleted on Sprout Wings and Fly, a 
film on Tommy Jarrell, a North 
Carolina mountain fiddle player. 
Directing the film .;ith Les are Alice 
Gerard & CeCe Conway. Other 
Flower projects include production 
on Pelicula o Muerte, a documen- 
tary on Werner Herzog, & Stoney 
Knows He about an agi 3 Ap- 
palachian loo artist. For more in- 
fo: Les Blank, 10341 San P^bio Ave., 
El Cernto CA 94530, (415) 525-0942. 

THE INCARNATION, produced & 
directed by Vladimir Kononenko, is 
a film involving Frederick Hart's 
sculptures for the National 
Cathedralin Washington DC. For 
more info: Cosmorama Productions, 
605 Third Ave., New York NY 10016, 
(212) 534-2117. 

announced a multi-faceted produc- 
tion agreement with the Hudson 
River Film Company: the company 
will supply WNET with NYC area 
interviews & a 3-hour documentary 
on the history of NYC. For more 
info: Laureen Straub, WNET, 356 
West 58 St., New York NY 10019, 

are in production on a film tentative- 
ly entitled In Heaven There Is No 
Beer?, a 60-minute film about 
polkas; editing is now being com- 
pleted on Sprout Wings and Fly, a 
film on Tommy Jarrell, a North 
Carolina mountain fiddle player. 
Directing the film with Les are Alice 
Gerard & CeCe Conway. Other 
Flower projects include production 
on Pelicula o Muerte, a documen- 
tary on Werner Herzog, & Stoney 
Knows How, about an aging Ap- 
palachian tattoo artist. For more 
info: Les Blank, 10341 San Pablo 
Ave., El Cerrito CA 94530, (415) 

THE INCARNATION, produced & 
directed by Vladimir Kononenko, is 
a film involving Frederick Hart's 


sculptures for the National 
Cathedral in Washington DC. For 
more info: Cosmorama Productions, 
605 Third Ave., New York NY 10016, 


DUCTION: Man of Wall Street by 
Thomas Draper. Agent: Bertha 
Klausner, 71 Park Ave., New York 
NY 10016, (212) 685-2642. 

Productions seeking materials by 
independent writers in areas of 
Action, Horror, Sixties, & Rock 
Musicals. Short story materials of 
any subject. Option paid immediate- 
ly for materials chosen for produc- 
tion. Send materials by registered 
mail to: Jones/Spiel, 454 Fort 
Washington Ave., Suite 66, New 
York NY 10033, (212) 928-2407. 

SERVICES for all projections, 
theatricals, & multimedia presen- 
tation. The Klatu Project Ltd., (212) 
928-2407, 795-3372. 

ORIGINAL SOUND & specialized 
sound requirements for your pro- 
ductions. The Klatu Project Ltd., 
(212) 795-3372. 

funded feature documentary. 
Begins in fall. Send resume to 
James Agee Film Project, 316V2 
East Main St., Johnson City TN 

day per week to help distribute 
films. Can work from own apart- 
ment. Also need production assis- 
tant. (212) 691-3470. 

MUSIC FOR FILM: Synthesist/com- 
poser will provide original tracks for 
your film/video. For more info: (212) 

with extensive media scoring ex- 
perience desires film projects to 
create original musical scoring. 
Call: Jack Tamul, PO Box 51017, 

Jacksonville Beach FL 32250, (904) 

hire: experienced cinematographer 
with own equipment. Very, very 
reasonable rates. Call: (212) 

WANTED: select, operate, maintain 
media equipment. Salary negotia- 
ble. Send letter & resume to: Lilliam 
Katz, Port Washington Public 
Library, 245 Main St., Port 
Washington NY 11050. 

WNET-TV, New York's public tele- 
vision station, is seeking a Coor- 
dinating Producer for Independent 
Focus, a series of independent film 
and video, to assist in the screening 
and evaluation process, preparation 
of the series for air and promotion. 
To begin about Nov. 1. Contact 
Carol Brandenburg, WNET, 356 
West 58 St., 7th Floor, New York NY 
10019, (212) 560-3193. 


MAKERS DIRECTORY, published by 
Corporation for Public Broadcast- 
ing, is a guide to 600 film/ 
videomakers. Index to titles. Avail- 
able from CPB, 111 16 St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036. 

a guide to over 5,000 tapes located 
in Colorado, available for loan, sale, 
rent or in-library screening; includes 
subject index, video services and 
general information on field. $35, 
available from: Colorado Video 
Clearinghouse, PO Drawer H, 
Boulder CO 80306. 

ART COM is the new title of Art 
Contemporary magazine, published 
on a quarterly basis by artists for 
artists. Presents information con- 
cerning telecommunications, per- 
formance, artists' spaces, video- 
tapes, recordings, books, periodi- 
cals & related activities. AC is 
soliciting information, publications, 
photographs, essays for publi- 
cation. Contact: Carl Loeffler or 
Katherine M. Willman, AC, PO Box 
3123, San Francisco CA 94119. 

source book for a decade of Califor- 
nia performance art. $15.95, paper. 
PO Box 3123, Rincon Annex, San 
Francisco CA 94119, (415) 431-7524. 

come Tax Guide for Artists, Per- 
formers & Writers. $4.50, available 
from Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts 
Books, Fort Mason, Building B, San 
Francisco CA 94123, (415) 775-7200. 

available, offering extensive listing 
of independent films from the 
Pacific Northwest. Catalog free to 
all 16mm exhibitors, $3.50 to the 
general public, available from 
NWMP, PO Box 4093, Portland OR 
97208, (503) 223-5335. 

California's complete guide to 
media production, $10 plus sales 
tax available from: RD, PO Box 
31581, San Francisco CA 94131. 

FILM READER 5 is special feminist 
issue, with articles on criticism, 
Native American women in Western, 
Lesbian filmmaking, and other 
topics. $7.50, available from FR, 
Annie May Swift Hall, Northwestern 
Univ., Evanston IL 60201. 

MANUAL for Motion Picture, TV 
Commercials and Videotape In- 
dustries lists production logistics, 
unions & guilds, awards, major 
shooting stages, and more. $49.50 
available from NYPM, 1 Washington 
Sq. Village, Suite 8P, New York NY 
10012, (212) 777-4002. 

The Independent Movie-Maker's 
Handbook by Sheldon Tromberg. 
$6.95, paper. Available from: 
Franklin Watts, 730 Fifth Ave., New 
York NY 10019. 

free from the Center for Non-Profit 
Organizations, 115 West 72 St., New 
York NY 10023. Send SASE. 

Cinema Marketing Newsletter, is 
published 9 times per year. 



Subscription rates: $36 (US); $45 
(elsewhere); $27 (student). Contact: 
FFR, 208 West John, Champaign IL 
61820, (217) 351-0943. 

formation on 80 festivals; $5 spiral- 
bound, $1 postage. Available from: 
Kathy Bury, Box 176-A, DeSoto IL 

VICES of the New York Public 
Library is a guide in English & 
Spanish to neighborhood organiza- 
tions offering programs & services 
to the public in Manhattan, Bronx 
and Staten Island. Entries include: 
complaint services, day care 
centers, hotlines, tutoring, senior 
citizen groups and others. $26 
prepaid, available from: Office of 
Branch Libraries, 455 Fifth Ave., 
New York NY 10016. 

fice of Communications has mailed 
3,000 copies of the EEO Action 
Guide to assess local stations' 
equal employment practices. The 
guide was developed in cooperation 
with the Natonal Organization for 
Women's Legal Defense & Educa- 
tion Fund, Black Citizens for Fair 
Media, & civil rights attorney Jose 
A. Rivera. For more info: UCC, 
Office of Communication, 105 
Madison Ave., New York NY 10016, 
(212) 683-5656. 

THE SKY'S NO LIMIT, a quarterly 
published by Independent Film & 
Video Distribution Center, will be 
moving to a new location in Los 
Angeles in the fall. For more info: 
TSNL, IFVDC, PO Box 6060, Boulder 
CO 80306, (303) 469-5234. 

TORY FOR VIDEO is presently 
being compiled by Bay Area Video 
Coalition. For questionnaire, please 
write: BAVC, 2940 16 St., San Fran- 
cisco CA 94103, (415) 861-3279. 

published by Satellite News, is now 
available for $85 from: Phillips 
Publishing Inc., 7315 Wisconsin 
Ave., Washington DC 20014. 

profit, independent video producers 
around the world. Available from: 
Satellite Video Exchange, 261 
Powell St., Vancouver BC, Canada 
V6A 1G3. 

GUIDE: How to Finance, Produce & 
Distribute Your Short & Documen- 
tary Films, by Michael Wiese. $14.95 
plus $1.20 postage. Special dis- 
counts for quantity orders. Avail- 
able from Michael Wiese Film Pro- 
ductions, Box 245, Sausalito CA 
94966, (415) 332-3829. 

IN THESE TIMES is a national 
newsweekly with regular coverage 
of the arts, independently produced 
and distributed films & the public & 
commercial broadcasting in- 
dustries. 6-month subscriptions, 
$10.95. For more info: ITT, 1509 N. 
Milwaukee Ave., Chicago IL 60622, 


independent showcase, will include 
the following films: Northern Lights; 
We're Not the Jet Set; Things Fall 
Apart; Passing Through; The War at 
Home; Word is Out; & Lewis Mum- 
ford: Toward Human Architecture. 
For dates & times of broadcast, 
contact local PBS station, or PBS, 
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington 
DC 20024, (202) 488-5102. 

Walter Ungerer's most recent 
feature, will be screened at the 
James Agee Room, 144 Bleecker 
St., New York NY 10012, Oct. 23-25. 
For more info: Dark Horse Films, 
Inc., PO Box 982, Montpelier VT 
05602, (802) 223-3967. 


AND/OR's library, soon to be known 
as The NX Library, is preparing to 
move to a larger space. The new ad- 
dress is: 911 E. Pine St., Seattle WA 

STOLEN: CP 16 A & Angenieux 
12-120 zoom, serial # 1264487 with 
7-inch viewfinder, batteries, 
charger, mags & blue & silver loca- 
tion case. If this equipment is 
presented to you, please notify: 
Steven Jones, (212) 928-2407. 

CONTACT IN PARIS: experienced 
sound recordist & assistant 
cameraman living in Paris will serve 
as location coordinator. Can work 
all aspects preproduction, produc- 
tion & postproduction. Contact: 
Richard Kaplan, c/o Klejman, 78 rue 
Vielle du Temple, 75003 Paris, 
France, (011 331)277 95 16. 

of Independent Film and Video Dis- 
tribution Center since it began in 
April 1980, is no longer with the 
Center. Release of the Center's 
upcoming TV series, The Indepen- 
dents-ll, will be temporarily 
postponed to allow Front Range 
Educational Media Corporation, 
which operates the Center, to seek 
out a new Director for the project. 
For more info: IFVCD, PO Box 6060, 
Boulder CO 80306, (303) 469-5234. 

WINNERS: Grand Prize — The New 
Maid by Christine Burrill; First Prize 

— Murder in a Mist by Lisa Gottleib; 
Second Prize — Board and Care by 
Ellis & Sarah Churchill; Third Prize 

— Outside: Spinal Cord Injury and 
the Future by Barry Corbet. Three 
Honorable Mentions: Adama, the 
Fulani Magician by Jim Rosellini; 
Anton by Robert Dunlap & Fall Line 
by Bob Carmichael & Greg Lowe. 
For more info: AF, Box 8910, Aspen 
CO 81612, (303) 925-3117. 

moved. Their new address is: SMC, 
408 S. Franklin, Syracuse NY 13202. 

critique your screenplay, teleplay or 
story treatment before you submit it 
to agent or producer. 25 cents per 
page, no minimum. Enclose check/ 
money order with manuscript & 
SASE. SAS, PO Box 6561, Santa 
Barbara CA 93111, (805) 964-0179. 

CENTER announces new director. 

Bill Foster, who has been acting 
director since mid-April. He current- 
ly serves as chairman of Oregon 
Commission on Public Broad- 
casting's Programming Advisory 
Committee. For more info: NWFSC, 
Portland Art Association, 1219 SW 
Park Ave., Portland OR 97205, (503) 

prepare stills from movies: 
negatives, b/w prints, color 
transparencies from 8mm, 16mm & 
35mm motion picture film frames. 
For price list and more info: AP, 25 
East 4 St., New York NY 10003, (212) 

ASSOCIATION announces new 
board members and officers: 
Catherine Egan, Assistant Director, 
Audio-Visual Services, Pennsylvania 
State University; Lilliam Katz, Direc- 
tor of Media Services, Port Wash- 
ington NY Public Library; Elfrieda 
McCauley, Coordinator, Media Ser- 
vices, Greenwich CT Public 
Schools. Officers include: Presi- 
dent: Stephen Hess, Director, 
Educational Media Center, Univer- 
sity of Utah; President-elect: Clif- 
ford J. Ehlinger, Director, Division 
of Media, Grant Wood Area Educa- 
tion AGency, Cedar Rapids IA; Sec- 
retary: Angie Leclercq, Head, Under- 
graduate Library, University of 
Tennessee, Knoxville. For more 
info: EFLA, 43 West 61 St., New 
York NY 10023, (212) 246-4533. 

named Director of Arts and 
Humanities for Public Broadcasting 
Service. Wyler came to PBS from 
the National Endowment for the 
Arts, where she was Assistant 
Director of the Media Arts: Film/ 
Radio/TV Progam. For more info: 
PBS, 475 L'Enfant Plaze SW, 
Washington DC 20024, (202) 

DRESS is: 100 Fifth Ave., Room 
1208, New York NY 10011. To order 
films & tapes: WMM, PO Box 315, 
Franklin Lakes NJ 07417. 

American Film Festival: Olympic 
Fragments by Kit Fitzgerald & John 
Sanborn (Red Ribbon); Earle Mur- 
phy's Winter Olympics by Skip 
Blumberg (Blue Ribbon); The Uncle 
Dave Macon Show by Sol Korine & 
Brian Dunlap (Honorable Mention). 
For more info: Eric Trigg, EAI, 84 
Fifth Ave., New York NY 10011, (212) 

UNIQUE & ORIGINAL Music for film 
& video. Experienced composer. 
Call: Bob Fair, (212) 966-2852. 

Please call: Paul Tomasko, (212) 

FILM? Composer of Off-Off Broad- 
way productions and films seeks 
filmmaker for collaboration. In- 
cidental music, songs & adapta- 
tions; documentaries & features. 
Call: Steve Lockwood after 6 pm, 
(212) 666-8817. 

NEGATIVE conforming to specifica- 
tions. Good prices, references. Call: 
(212) 982-6993 & leave message. 

pelier VT announces the closing of 
its gallery and community media 
center effective Sept. 30. The public 
darkroom will be moved to the 
Vermont Conservatory in Mont- 
pelier, and the video program to the 
Community College of Vermont. 
Common Image magazine will still 
be published sporadically, and a 
cable television production series is 
being planned. For more info: IC, 
PO Box 1047, Montpelier VT 05602, 
(802) 229-4508. 


2 O 

m 8 



6 Oi 








9 IS 

a Ni 

I *" 













5 « 3" 

» «? § 











? v» < 

>< ~i Tl 




** 2. 

a. o- 

§ §• 



3T „. 



N c 

a» » 

o Co 3 

a a- ^ 

-< c 

o 5". 

< o 














































O Ss 


CO ** 

c: c» 


to =■ 



5* ^ 

v> Q. 

^ CD 


o < 

3 =! 

2. CO 

CD o 

» T] 


E a 

o r 71 












"° z 


3 * 

• TJ 

=v < 


? 5 


"** Z 

> H 

s ^ 

O O 

00 < 

CO ' 

m 3 

It he I 

Film and Video monthly 




read it ! 




Improving Lens Performance 

by David W. Leitner 

Part II 


1930's Independent Filmmaking Focus § 

of New Historical Study 
by Robert Haller 


by Wendy Udell 


Independent Regional Features — Part I 10 

by Bernard Timberg and Thomas Arnold 

by Jane Morrison 


Chester Cornett harvests wood on Pine mountain in eastern 

Kentucky for his hand carved "Two-in-One" rocker. 

The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New 
York NY 10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt service organization for the 
promotion of independent video and film. Publication of The Indepen- 
dent is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
Federal Agency. 

Subscription is included in membership in the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the trade association sister of 
FIVF. AIVF is a national association of independent producers, crafts- 
people and supporters of independent video and film. Together, FIVF 
and AIVF provide a broad range of educational and professional 
services and advocacy for independents and the general public. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our members and sup- 
porters. If you have an idea for, or wish to contribute an article to, The 
Independent, contact the Editor at the above address. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect the opinion 
of the Board of Directors — they are as diverse as our member, staff 
and reader contributors. 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Assistant Editor Fran Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block, David W. Leitner, John Rice, 

Barbara Turrill 
Staff Photographer Sol Rubin 
Layout & Design: Bill Jones 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 
Advertising Representative: Michelle Slater 

Staff Members: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; Wendy 
Lidell, Assistant Director; Sol Horwitz, Short Film Showcase 
Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film Showcase 
Administrative Assistant; Fran Piatt, Membership Developer; 
Odessa Flores. 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Jane Morrison, President; Marc 
Weiss, Vice President; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, 
Treasurer (FIVF Board); Richard Schmiechen, Chair; Eric Breit- 
bart, Pablo Figueroa, Jessie Maple, Kitty Morgan, Judy Irola, 
Julio Rodriguez, Robert Richter; Lawrence Sapadin, Ex 


THE INDEPENDENT welcomes letters to the editor. All cor- 
respondence should be mailed to The Independent c/o FIVF, 
625 Broadway, 9th floor, New York NY 10012. Letters may be 
edited for length and clarity. 

NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF members receive first 
priority; others included as space permits. Send notices to 
THE INDEPENDENT c/o FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th floor, New 
York NY 10012. Free writers' guidelines available. For further 
information, call (212) 473-3400. 


If three or more film/videomakers plan to enter the same 
foreign festival, FIVF can arrange a group shipment, thereby 
saving you money! What you must do is drop us a note telling 
us what festival you are planning to enter, and if we get 
enough interest in one, we will call you. 


More and more programmers have been coming into the AIVF 
office looking for independent films/tapes for their festivals, 
cable systems and exhibitions. Please send us material on 
your films and tapes so that we may make it available to in- 
terested parties. Send c/o Film/Tape File, AIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York, NY 10012. 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process changes of address, 
renewals and other changes in your mailing status. 
Don't wait until after you have moved to send AIVF your 
new address. Give us as much advance notice as possi- 
ble and include your current mailing label, and you'll 
keep on receiving THE INDEPENDENT without interrup- 


Improving Lens Performance-Part II 

by David 1/1/. Leitner 

IMAGt ^ 
-> • PoiMT 

At a recent panel discussion of the possibilities of high- 
definition television sponsored by the Society of Motion Pic- 
ture and Television Engineers, mention was made of the fact 
that video optics would have to be correspondingly upgraded 
to match the greater film-like resolution of the proposed new 
electronic format. One panelist suggested that "hard" lenses, 
or primes, might be necessary, causing a stir among members 
of the audience. Such talk is a harbinger of things to come, as 
standards of image quality are lofted ever higher. Improving 
the quality of our images today will insure their viability in the 
years to come, and there is no better place to begin than with 
an enhanced understanding of the imaging tool, the lens. 

The lens isn't strictly necessary to photography. As a boy, I 
built a pinhole camera that consisted of a wooden box the 
size of a shoe box, with a tiny hole poked in one end. A sheet 
of film was loaded in the other end, and I made exposures by 
removing my finger from the pinhole for a minute or so. Even 
though the film I used was fast, the pinhole admitted very lit- 
tle light, and exposures were lengthy. After development, the 
images were easily recognizable, although any object that had 
moved during exposure was blurred, obviously, this would not 
do for cinematography. 

-rut cAMtGA oasc.jg.A 5a*)s 

LtiOS &L0CKtT> ALL Di\>£.RCtiJT 

£)<C£tT>i^GLV t>ll-\. 

In fact, this was unacceptable even before the invention of 
still photography. The camera obscura, known to the ancients, 
was a darkened tent or room with a pinhole in one wall (see 
illustration #7, 2). The wall opposite the pinhole would display 
an invertee, but dim, image. A hapless 16th century 
Neopolitan, Giovanni Battista della Porta, discovered that 
placing a simple bi-convex lens (the single lens of a magnify- 
ing glass) at the site of the pinhole and enlarging the hole to 
accommodate the diameter of the lens produced an image 
that was much brighter and sharper (illustration #3). His 
discovery proved so startling to his contemporaries that he 
fled town under suspicion of sorcery. A century later, 
however, miniature, portable cameras obscuras were in use 
among European artists and draftsmen. They were wooden 
contraptions the size of a small suitcase, with an assembly 
consisting of a simple lens and a translucent surface display- 
ing an image for the purpose of tracing. The 17th century 
Dutch master, Vermeer, is presumed to have used the camera 
obscura to compose and sketch his subjects before painting. 
A pinhole aperture would not have permitted an image bright 
enough for his apparatus to have been of much use. 

With the 19th century invention of photography, lens design 



-Tl\L fidvtOLt u)A<5> tSoX 
<HL ArtSi/dtfi. 

Bi-coiovex LeM5 

i*JLAfc.GeP AetP-ToKe. MULT|f>L£ 
RAV6 ^«om lACvA ?oi>JT ARt- 

CotLtc^ei> am* ee»ir ihito jo<o^ 

was impelled to march onward. Early photographic emulsions 
were slow, and human subjects found it difficult to remain 
stiff and immobile for the several minutes to half-hour re- 
quired to obtain proper exposure, the simple solution was to 
enlarge the hole in the front of the camera and insert a lens of 
wider aperture and equivalent focal length. More light would 
strike the daguerreotype plate, reducing sitting time and 
tempers. Unfortunately, acceptable resolution was lost when 
the simple bi-convex lens surpassed a limited diameter, con- 
fining pioneer camera operators to lenses no faster than f/17. 

The main task of the camera lens, then as now, was to gather 
diverging rays of light from each point of making up the sub- 
ject and through refraction, or bending, cause them to con- 
verge into a sharp, faithful image of the subject. The more 
rays that were collected from each point in front of the lens 
and refracted into focus, the brighter the image, the "faster" 
the lens and the heavier the exposure. The aim of early lens 
design was to increase the diameter of a lens, causing it to 
collect additional rays, rendering it more efficient with regard 
to the prevailing levels of illumination. 

There is a price to be paid for simply enlarging a lens. In prin- 
ciple, a light ray is bent by glass to the degree it enters or ex- 
its at an angle. A single ray emanating from a point in space 

and traveling down the optical axis of a simple bi-convex lens 
is not refracted at all, because the surface of the lens is 
perpendicular to its path (illus. #3). In contrast, a ray 
emanating from the same point and traversing the periphery 
of the lens at an acute angle is bent strongly. This means that 
mildly bent rays passing through the central portion of the 
lens are more easily controlled. As the diameter of the lens is 
extended, the curvature of the glass is lengthened, and it 
grows increasingly difficult to refract oblique, peripheral rays 
into perfect convergence on a flat image plane. The result is a 
wash of non-image-forming light, degrading sharpness and 
lowering contrast. This is called spherical aberration. 

To compound matters, each wavelength of light bends dif- 
ferently upon refraction. Monochromatic or white light com- 
prises the entire spectrum of visible color, and each color is 
represented by a characteristic wavelength. The various 
wavelengths cohere as white light passes through the central 
portion of a lens where refraction is minimal, but tend to 
separate into discrete colors as white light is bent by the 
outer edges of the lens. This prismatic effect is termed 
chromatic aberration and can be partially corrected by com- 
bining lens elements of different glass types, varying in refrac- 
tive power. One type of glass compensates for the refractive 
errors of the other, cheating the spectrum into uniform focus. 

► • PotrVT 

A x/AftiABLt MA6VC, ^UOcKiKia 

-tAa-T HiMfctR Coi*<ftAvr Ad> 
ftt/ioLO-ftoid , 

Not until the mid-19th century did a German named Petzval 
mathematically contrive a durable design incorporating multi- 
ple elements and two types of glass, achieving a usable f/3.6 
free of major aberrations. With many turn-of-the-century lens 
designs extant today, still in manufacture or reproduced as 
modifications of earlier constructions, the rules of the game 
have changed little since the days of Petzval. However, given 
today's standards, the loss of definition at the widest aper- 
tures is less acceptable. 

The iris was incorporated into the lens for the purpose of con- 
trolling the effective lens diameter. By stopping down, depth 
of fie d and exposure, each a direct function of diameter, are 
conveniently regulated. At the same time, light is blocked 
from the outer edges of the lens and less refraction takes 
place (illus. #4). The iris should be thought of as a variable 
mask that can usefully limit lens diameter to that required for 
optimum resolution, since lens manufacturers often provide 
f-stops that are desirable from a practical point of view but not 
advantageous to overall image quality. (Evidently, a lens with a 
nominally faster rating sells better.) 

Closed one or two stops, most lenses will yield noticeably 
crisper and cleaner images. Residual spherical aberration, for 

instance, will drop off dramatically. Sometimes the difference 
between wide-open and slightly stopped-down is so great, it's 
almost like having two separate lenses instead of one. Portrait 
photographers often retain a lens with pronounced spherical 
aberration for soft, low contast portraiture. 

A simple test of shooting a scene wide-opeen and repeating 
the same shot with the lens stopped down — maintaining 
constant exposure with neutral-density filters — will reveal 
any significant change in contrast and definition, depth of 
field notwithstanding. Alternately, access to a lens test pro- 
jector, a device that applies to practical ends the axiom that 
all optics are reversible and transforms your camera lens into 
a projection lens through which a special high-contrast test 
pattern is projected, will instantly make apparent which aper- 
tures are to be avoided. These relatively inexpensive testing 
units are now being manufactured commercially for the first 
time and should become increasingly available at camera 
houses and repair or testing facilities. In addition, they should 
be made available to you, the filmmaker, so that you can 
familiarize yourself with the characteristics and eccentricities 
— if any — of your lens, gaining an intimate understanding of 
its limitations and an informed respect for its capabilities. 

1930's Independent Filmmaking 
Focus of New Historical Study 

Concern for American society, solidarity and a love for 
justice are themes which course through the social pro- 
test films of the 1930s. Until now these films, their 
makers and the organizations that sponsored them 
have been discussed inadequately and intermittently. 
This historical oversight was extraordinary considering 
the high interest in the related avant-garde films of the 
1940s and the 1920s (filmmakers like Ralph Steiner, 
Paul Strand and Alexander Hammid, for instance, 
worked in both the avant-garde and social protest 
cinemas). This was further troubling because, 

while many of the films have not been available for 
viewing until recently, many others have been con- 
sidered classics for decades (like The River, The City 
and Heart of Spain). The context of these films and 
their origins have been little understood despite recent 
interviews and lectures by such major figures as Tom 
Brandon and Leo Hurwitz. 

Now many of the most perplexing questions have been 
answered. William Alexander's Film on the Left: 
American Documentary Film from 1931 to 1942 

(Princeton University Press, 1981, $12.50) is an insight- 
ful combination of interviews, analysis, and historical 
perspective. Alexander acknowledges but is not limited 
by the left-liberal political sympathies of his subjects 
and himself. His book is, to an impressive degree, ob- 
jective. It also provides a great deal of information 
about the Workers' Film and Photography League, 
Nykino, Frontier Films, and American Documentary 
Films Inc., especially as to how and why each sprung 
away from its predecessor. Individuals who loom large 

include Herbert Kline, Ben Maddow, Sidney Meyers, 
Joris Ivens, Helen van Dongen, Irving Lerner, Lionel 
Berman, Pare Lorentz, Sheldon Dick, Willard Van Dyke, 
and the already mentioned Steiner, Strand and Hurwitz. 
Given less space but also acknowledged as important 
are Jay Leyda, Henwar Rodakiewica, Elia Kazan, Lewis 
Jacobs, Brandon Hammid, and others. 

This is a dense book of some 300 pages, richly foot- 
noted and with 25 pages of references. There is abun- 
dant data on personal, production, aesthetic and 
political aspects of each film project and each organiza- 
tion. Alexander's thorough interviews are particularly 
impressive. The publication of this book is an event, a 
great stride forward in our understanding of an era of 
American film history. 

Inevitably there are omissions, or the appearance of 
them. Seymour Stern, for instance, who has the first 
words of the book, subsequently all but vanishes from 
the text, leaving a nagging sense that Alexander's con- 
centration on filmmaking in New York has led him to 
miss or underrate West Coast efforts. The lack of a 
filmography is also frustrating. 

Responsible discussion of these films cannot ignore 
the influences of poverty, personality, aesthetics and 
— in many cases — pressures from government spon- 
sors, or from the Communist Party. Alexander covers 
all this well, with an openness (and at times an uncer- 
tainty) that is most refreshing. The book will also cer- 
tainly provoke fruitful debates. 

by Robert Holler 


by Wendy Udell 

Hundreds of foreign and domestic festivals showcase net 
works by independent film and videomakers. New ones pop 
up every year — and some of the disappear the next. Some of- 
fer cash prizes, and others prestigious awards or liaisons with 
distributors, exhibitors, critics and buyers. Many are simply 
non-competitive celebrations of film and video art. 

Keeping track of these festivals is an unwieldy proposition. A 
number of publications attempt to bring some order to the 
chaos. Six of these publications are reviewed below, with an 
eye to the comprehensiveness of their coverage, their method 
of organization and their relative usefulness to the film and 
videomaker seeking the best showcase for his or her work. 

A spot check has shown that all the books contain some 
minor errors in dates, fees, phone numbers or other details, 
probably due to an inability to keep up with the rapid changes. 
But given the breadth of the field, they are generally pretty 
good. They are listed alphabetically by title. 

Directory of United States Film and Video Festivals 

by Kathy Bury 
Box 176 

De Soto, IL 62924 
1980 (104 pp.) $5.00 

Lists 85 festivals — American only. 

Each listing provides an address, phone number, contact per- 
son, month held, statement of purpose, sponsors, categories, 
moderately detailed eligibility requirements, entry deadlines, 
fees, acceptable gauges and lengths, awards, recent winners, 
recent judges, noted guests and speakers, and the date the 
festival was established. 

Indices include listings by state, chronology, student 
festivals, those accepting video, those awarding cash prizes, 
grants or scholarships, festivals with no entry fees, non- 
competitive festivals, special interest categories, and awards 
by name. 

Strengths: One festival per page with neat labeled format and 
spiral binding makes this book very easy to use. The listings 
are moderately detailed. The most outstanding feature is the 
extensive index section, which makes targeting a particular 
type of festival especially easy. 

Weaknesses: Lists only American festivals. I found at least 
one failure to update: Miami Int'l Film Festival hasn't been 
held in Miami for years — it's been in Houston since 1978. 






Film Festival Review: The Cinema Marketing Review 

P. Gregory Springer, editor 

208 West John 

Champaign, IL 61820 

1981 (12 pp.) Annual subscription rates: $36, $27 students 

A brand-new periodical (only 2 issues so far) promising to ap- 
pear every eight weeks and bringing reviews of both festivals 
and festival films. While it's still too early to tell, it seems that 
the editor has a good independent sensibility. However, the 
subscription rate is seriously overpriced. 

Weaknesses: This book is relatively expensive and contains a 
good deal of information not relevant to film and video pro- 
ducers. It lacks the extensive indices of the Bury and AFI 
books, and was compiled in 1978, except for addresses which 
were updated in 1980. At least one error located: the Berlin 
International Film Festival is listed as occurring in June with 
Dr. Alfred Bauer as Director. It is actually held in February and 
directed by Moritz de Hadeln. Also, the Berlin Forum of Young 
Cinema is not cross-referenced under "independent": certain- 
ly one of its major interests. 

Gadney's Guide to 1800 International Contests, Festivals, 
and Grants in Film & Video, Photography, TV-Radio 
Broadcasting, Writing, Poetry, Playwriting and Journalism 

by Alan Gadney 

Festival Publications 

PO Box 10180 

Glendale, CA 91209 

1978; 1980 updated-address edition (578 pp.) 

$21.95 hardbound, $15.95 softbound, $1.75 postage and 

handling, 6% sales tax for California residents 

Lists over 358 foreign and domestic contests and over 127 
video/audio events, as well as events in other media. Broad in- 
terpretation of events to include any contest "resulting in 
economic remuneration." 

Each listing provides an address, phone number, contact per- 
son, month held, descriptive paragraph including entry restric- 
tions, purpose, theme, motto, sponsors, recent statistics, 
historical information and recognizing authorities etc.; 
eligibility requirements, entry fees, awards, judging aspects, 
catch clauses and deadlines. Listings divided into sections as 
required by the festivals. 

Indices include cross-referenced subject and category 
listings, as well as alphabetical listing by event, sponsor and 
award name. 

Strengths: The most comprehensive and detailed of all the 
festival books, and the most critical in terms of looking for the 
hidden costs and providing information on the way films and 
tapes are judged. Fairly well cross-referenced and contains 
both foreign and domestic listings. 


Festivals And Awards 

No. 3 
Revised Edition 


National Education Services 

The American Film Institute 
The John F Kennedy Center 
for the Performing Arts 
Washington. D.C. 20566 
Telephone: (202) 828-4088 

Factfile #3: Film/Video Festivals and Awards 

compiled by Christina Spilsbury and 

Deborah Davidson Boutchard 

The American Film Institute 

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 

Washington, DC 20566 

1981 (89 pp.) $5.00, $4.00 AFI members 

Lists 131 American festivals in two categories: general and By 
Invitation Only; and 89 foreign festivals by name, address and 
one-line description only. 

Each listing for American festivals provides an address, phone 
number, contact person, month held, categories, brief one-line 
eligibility requirement, entry deadline, fees, acceptable 
gauges and lengths, awards and date established. 

Indices include listings by state, chronological by both event 
and deadline, student festivals, those accepting 8mm and 
Super-8mm, 16mm, 35mm and videotape, those awarding cash 
prizes, grants and scholarships, awards by name, and a 

Strengths: Only book to list chonology by deadline and com- 
plete index by gauge. 

Weaknesses: Foreign listings too brief to be useful. American 
listings not very detailed either. Several failures to update: 
American Mavericks listed in 1980 and 1981 editions although 
it hasn't been held since 1979; San Francisco Int'l Film 
Festival should now be the San Francisco Int'l Film and Video 

How to Enter and Win Film Contests 

by Alan Gadney 
Facts on File, Inc. 
460 Park Avenue 
New York, NY 10016 
1981 (195 pp.) $5.95 






Lists 326 foreign and domestic festivals, prizes, grants and 
other events. 

An updated version of Gadney's Guide focusing exclusively 
on film events, this is a good value for film-only producers. Un- 
fortunately the Berlin International Film Festival is still listed 
as occuring in June! 

How to Enter and Win Video/Audio Contests 

by Alan Gadney 
Facts on File, Inc. 
460 Park Avenue 
New York, NY 10016 
1981 (195 pp.) $5.95 

Lists 411 foreign and domestic festivals, prizes, grants, broad- 
cast opportunities etc. 






















Another specialized Gadney's Guide, this one targets the 
video and audio producer. It broadens the concept of "con- 
test" even further than the film edition, along the lines of 
Gadney's original intent of identifying sources of income by 
including such categories as "broadcast opportunities". I 
think this volume suffers somewhat by eliminating the advan- 
tage of cross-referencing multi-media events. For example, 
Ten Best of the West, a film festival which now accepts video, 
is not listed. 

Since the information in all of these books is not foolproof, I 
would advise all users to verify details by calling or writing the 
festivals before sending any materials. All the publications are 
available for reference in the FIVF office, or may be purchased 
from the publisher. This office also maintains files on many 
festivals, and may sometimes have application forms on hand. 

Unfortunately, none of these publications offers any critique 
from the point of view of the entrant. Establishing such a 
source of information could be invaluable to those that enter 
after you, so if you have any feedback, either good or bad, on 
any festival you have entered, please drop us a note. We are 
working to facilitate the participation of independents in 
festivals around the world, but we need your input and ex- 


Independent Regional Features- 
Part I 

by Bernard Timberg and Thomas Arnold 

the authors of this article have been working on a research 
and script develpment project funded by the Nebraska Com- 
mittee for the Humanities on Nebraska's contributions to film. 
Out of this project they are developing pilot scripts for thir- 
teen half-hour televison programs and a feature documentary 
on the Nebraska roots and early career of Henry Fonda. 

It is hard to make independent films in any case, but regional 
filmmakers who develop features outside the major indepen- 
dent film production centers face extra challenges — and 
possibilities — in America's hinterlands. Robert Haller of the 
National Alliance of Media Arts Centers estimates that seven 
out of every ten independent filmmakers come from New York 
and San Francisco, and most of the rest come from such 
centers of independent film as Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, 
and Minneapolis. Boston alone has some twenty small media 
organizations devoted to different aspects of independent 
production, and it has a wide range of small media production 
facilities. But what about the film or video producer who 
works in an area that does not have a high level of activity and 
support for independent film? In particular, how can these 
filmmakers raise funds and produce features that reflect their 
own visions of the areas in which they live? 

We talked to a number of regional filmmakers and found in 
their work a broad range of models for developing a feature 
film project. At the same time we found that certain ex- 
periences were widely shared. We decided to report here on 
six sets of people making first features in regional settings 
over the last few years, a time when there has been a small 
but remarkable blossoming of independent feature activity in 
America. This approach meant that we did not include 
pioneers like Chuck and Jane Naumann, who produced and 
directed an independent feature in 1973 (Johnny Vic) out of 
South Dakota, financing the $300,000 film entirely through 
local South Dakota investors. We heard stories of filmmakers 
and filmmaking groups in North and South Dakota, Florida, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Oregon, as well as two from 
the Minneapolis area. (Although Minneapolis has a relatively 
large population of independent filmmakers, the people there 
work under many of the same conditions as the other regional 
filmmakers we talked with.) Sandra Schulberg of New Front 
Films was particularly helpful in giving us names of people to 
contact. The budgets of the features produced ranged from 
$25,000 (for a film produced in 1978) to $700,000 (for a film pro- 
duced that same year). The money for these films came either 
from a grant or series of grants through a nonprofit organiza- 
tion or was raised through a limited partnership arrangement, 
generally put together from a group of twenty to thirty in- 
vestors. The limited partnerships were always for dramatic 
features that had some kind of profit potential in theatrical 

release. As for the decision to go profit or nonprofit, the con- 
sensus was that the investment possibilities in a region and 
the expected financial returns of the film determined that 
choice. In practice, it has mattered little up to now whether in- 
dependent films have had profit or nonprofit funding sources, 
since they have generally not made money. Independent film- 
makers hope that picture is changing. Still to be addressed is 
the issue of how the search for larger audiences and profits 
will affect the goals of these independently-made films and 
the degree of control the filmmaker maintains. 

Whether going the profit or nonprofit route, the filmmakers we 
talked to: 

1) knew the area in which they lived very well, having lived 
there most of their lives, with a few having been there a 
shorter time, though at least for five to ten years; 

2) spent at leat a year full-time on developing their project, 
and often three to five years; then, once the film was pro- 
duced, they often spent the equivalent of at least another 
year working full time on distribution; 

3) had key individuals in their community and state and/or 
support groups backing them (this included legal and 
financial expertise); 

4) chose subjects that were of interest both to their local 
community and a wider audience, though not necessarily 
a mass audience; 

5) relied on major filmmaking centers for technical services 
and moral and financial support, often travelling regularly 
between their regional home base and the filmmaking 
centers where they raised money, got equipment or did 
their technical work; 

6) in almost every case, whether they originally planned to 
or not, sank personal money or credit into the project 
(sometimes on personal loans of up to $100,000). 

Above all, the filmmakers agreed that making a feature is a 
consuming task — they often told us that if they had known 
what they were getting into when they first plunged in, they 
would never have started. Ross Spears (Agee) said he thought 
he'd never do it that way again: "I should have told my friends 
to tie me down if I ever mentioned it." One experienced film- 
maker, working on hisfrst feature, said there was "a light 
year's difference" between the shorter and longer forms — 
the complexity in structure and development of a film (in addi- 
tion to the financial commitment required) increased exponen- 
tially with the length of the film in ways he simply hadn't fore- 


And then there is the frustration factor. Doing something for 
the first time — all the filmmakers we interviewed were 
describing their first features — is always traumatic. Add to 
this the length of time and personal commitment needed for a 
feature and the days and weeks that pass at critical moments 
in the film's development when the filmmaker can do nothing 
for lack of funds or resources. Only fleetingly or through per- 
sonal experience can the pain involved in this kind of total per- 
sonal investment be estimated. Jude Cassidy, a co-worker 
with Ross Spears, described that pain: 

"There was an eight month period where we didn't get a 
nickel, not even five dollars, and we had just borrowed 
money from everybody that we could think of, and it 
was just a really, really hard period. But he [Spears] 
never, ever thought of quitting. He'd just say in a 
depressed way someti s, 'Do you think we'll ever 
finish it, Jude?', but he never once said, 'I think I want 
to quit.' After you've gotten in two years or three years 
and you've borrowed money and people have donated 
you things and you've got half of it shot anyway — 
you're in so deep it's as if there is no alternative. You 
had to keep going one day and then the next day. You 
had to finish it. I would say, 'What are you going to do if 
you don't finish it? Just go ahead and finish it. So what 
if it will take two or three more years '" 

This kind of frustration is intensified in a conservative region 
where risk ventures in Independent film are uncommon. Sup- 
port groups and contact with other independent filmmakers 
become even more important in these settings. For example, 
Ross Spears in Johnson City, Tennessee, told us that being 
able to discuss the Agee project with other filmmakers at the 

Sinking Creek Film Celebration in Nashville was really impor- 
tant to him. Even in Minneapolis, where Northern Lights has 
garnered much publicity, Sandra Schulberg told us she is hav- 
ing a hard time raising money in the private sector: 

"I think that there is a fundamental contradiction in try- 
ing to raise significant amounts of money from the 
private sector to make amove basically about ordinary 
and poor people. We are not selling glamour. . .so it's 
very, very difficult. You have to find people [investors] 
where a combination of elements are present: someone 
who has very large resources and therefore discre- 
tionary resources, who also believes in what you are 
doing from a philosophical, or aesthetic or moral point 
of view, and is not intimidated by the arts or by film in 
particular, which is a fairly intimidating medium for 
most people. Especially feature films where basically 
they don't know anything about it. They think of 
features as absolutely the purview of the studios, the in- 
dustry. There's a tremendous educational process in- 
volved in explaining that there really are no barriers in 
getting them into theaters — that it's a matter of ex- 
perience and contacts and so on, but it's not as though 
the system is closed to you. It's a function of knowing 
how to intervene — to plug into it. But that's hard for 
people to accept because it's so foreign to them. So it's 
just very difficult." 

What did the independent filmmakers who made their features 
have going for them? How did the six factors mentioned at the 
beginning of this article — knowledge of the area, long-term 
commitment by the filmmaker, key supporters, compelling 
regional subjects and locales, contact with film centers, and 
personal money investment — come into play? 


Some of the filmmakers we talked to worked out of established 
independent media production groups. Herb E. Smith produced 
his first feature (Handcarved) out of Appalshop, Inc. in 
Whitesburg, Kentucky. Founded in 1969 as an OEO project to 
train Appalachians to document their culture. Appalshop now 
has some thirty people working on its diversified programs, 
with about fifteen concentrating on film or video projects. 
Appalshop is self-governed and has thirty-one films in 
distribution (as well as records, a travelling theater group and 
a photography program), six films in production and a weekly 
Appalachian culture program called Headwaters that broad- 
casts to a potential audience of 80,000 families on prime time 
over the local NBC affiliate. (This television program has given 
Appalshop its biggest local exposure, though the group has 
become well known regionally and nationally for its work in 
preserving and transmitting Appalachian folk arts and ad- 
dressing Appalachian social issues.) 

Herb E. Smith came into Appalshop in its earliest years as an 
OEO project. He says his first exposure to the project was ac- 

"I was a senior at Whitesburg High School when Appal- 
shop was set up here, in Whitesburg, which happens to 
be my hometown. My dad's a coal miner here and I was 
in school then — just kind of hanging out — and this of- 

fice opened up on Main Street. I just kind of wandered 
in, seeing what was shaking, and the next thing we 
knew I was turning rewinds and shooting film and stuff. 
That was the spring of 1970." 

Smith has since directed four of the Appalshop films and 
worked on most of the others. Then a contract to do a 
90-minute WNET special about Appalshop gave him and co- 
director Bill Richardson a chance to work with producer Perry 
Miller Adato on editing a longer film. 

Smith's feature documentary on chair-maker Chester Cornett 
began as a half-hour documentary funded with $20,000 from 
the NEA Folk Arts Program, but the film grew into a feature. It 
comments on the migration of Appalachians like Cornett to 
the urban centers of the North and the continuation of Ap- 
palachian folk crafts in these new environments. This feature 
developed organically, then, out of an established regional 
media production center — one that has been able in the past 
to raise as much as half its operating expenses from its earned 
income. Herb Smith describes the evolution of Handcarved: 


HERB: I'd known this chair-maker for several years, and he's 
visited us here. He was raised back here in the mountains, but 


Elizabeth Barret and Herb E. Smith 

he moved to Cincinnati and was making chairs up in the city in 
1970. He came back to visit his kin here, and visited us, and we 
visited him several times on a trip to Cincinnati. At first he 
wasn't really that big on doing a film at all. We figured we would 
try to do a half-hour film and just kind of pry the words out of 
him, you know. Well, once he decided to do it, though, the 
whole ball game changed. All of a sudden it was like he was 
directing the film, more than any personality I've ever dealt with. 
He just finally decided that we were the right people to do it and 
he was going to use that film to say some things he had to say. 
So he would turn to the camera and say, "Now ladies and 
gentlemen, boys and girls, uncles and aunts and everybody 
else." We were really having a good time and we couldn't turn 
the camera off. And so we ended up shooting a lot more film 
than we had budgeted, and Appalshop kind of backed us in 


The way it works here, we have what we call a Filmmakers' 
Union. There's more than filmmakers here at Appalshop. 
There's a theater group and a recording studio and so forth. The 
film branch at Appalshop meets at least once or twice a month. 
We call it a Filmmakers' Union meeting, where we just discuss 
the progress we're making on different films and go over each 
other's budgets, and just share information and future ideas. So 
first of all I took this idea for this film to the Filmmakers' Union. 
There were other filmmakers that were wanting to do similar 
films, and we initially proposed four half-hour films for the 

National Folk Arts Program of NEA. But the program cut that in 
half and gave us half the money; in the meantime, we decided 
mainly by default that this film on this chair-maker would be 
made and another film on a basket-maker. 

QUESTION: But you had to match that money from the 
National Folk Arts Program, didn't you? 

HERB: Right. But we don't have any trouble with the match 
here. Because we had a lot of equipment here that Appalshop 
owns and we work for real low wages. Also, we work hard at 
raising additional grant money. 

We started trying to make the films, and I was the director — 
director/producer — whatever you want to call it. We don't use 
those titles too much here. What we say is there's a single per- 
son who's in control of the film, and then the other people of 
the group give advice and assistance, but there's this one per- 
son that has got the reins, you might say. And so as I started 
shooting more and more film than we had budgeted, then I 
started going back to the Union and saying, "Look. We're going 
to be way over budget here. What do you think we should do?" 
And everybody pretty much agreed in the group that the best 
thing for us to do was to continue as the chair was being made; 
if we stopped shooting to raise more money, then we were go- 
ing to miss it. So everybody agreed to go ahead and let us 
spend our finishing money for stock and processing. 

So then that left us with the need to go out and raise the 
finishing money. And also, for various other reasons, the 
salary money ran out. Mainly it seemed like there were 26 


weeks written into the project, and it came to this much big- 
ger project, and so there wasn't enough salary money in the 
budget to pay me to finish the film. So I was personally on the 
line and the film was personally on the line in terms of 
finishing cash. It got pretty hot there. Since there wasn't 
money to pay me, I went on unemployment and worked for 
three or four months without pay. Another one of those 
government grants, you know. The state, I think, puts up a big 
part of that grant. But anyway, I continued to work on it, 
volunteering my time on the project — while looking for work. 
Then there was another job that came up at Appalshop, which 
I was able to take, and so I worked on the film half time for 

We went back to the Folk Arts Program and they gave us 
another $4,000 because of the change in the scope of the proj- 
ect. And that was basically enough money to keep us going. I 
told them [NEA] while it was happening that this was going 
on, so they knew about it already. They really weren't that ex- 
cited about the idea. In fact, they sent a couple of consultants 
in to look at the work in progress, and one of them said that it 
should be a half-hour film, and that he didn't think it should be 
cut into a longer film. The other one really liked it. It was a 
compromise; they gave us $4,000 more towards the project. 
That of course still wasn't enough money to pay me anything, 
so I was working on the side on it, mainly. There was another 
real ringer on it. The way it turned out, Elizabeth (my wife, who 
is also a filmmaker at Appalshop) and I went up there and lived 
in Cincinnati for two months while Chester made this chair. 
And we were the only two people up there. Sometimes she'd 
be shooting the camera and I'd be recording the sound, and 
sometimes I'd be shooting, and she'd be recording. It was a 
real intense time. 

The way it worked out, we weren't able to slate the film, and 
also we were already way over budget on shooting it, so we 
weren't shooting long takes. There would be sometimes as 
many as forty takes to a 400-foot roll. [Let's say an average of 
thirty, and we shot fifty rolls of film.] That would be 1500 times 
that the camera turned on, without any slate. So it was a 
ballbreaker to get the thing synched up. If we had been well- 
funded, you see, we could have had another person there 
helping us with slates. We wouldn't have minded the addi- 
tional amount of film, but we would have spent two feet per 
take. That's eighty feet, or about eight rolls, just in slates. So 
we were just squeezing it for every frame of film we could get. 
We finished shooting in March of 78, then he made one more 
chair, and in June he got sick and never recovered. He died 
this past year, so it was the last opportunity to film it. 

QUESTION: You didn't by chance buy that chair, did you? 

HERB: Yeah, we did. But we only decided to buy it later, 
when Chester got hard up for money. The deal we struck with 
Chester was, "You make whatever chair you want, and it'll be 
your chair." And so it worked out really good, because he 
made an incredible chair that I don't think he would have. You 
know, he would have kept asking us what we want. But the 
way it turned out, he just did it the way he wanted to. 

We just showed Handcarved with other films at the Janus 
theater in Washington and got good reviews in the 
Washington Post and the Washington Star when it was still 
going. I think that was really good. The Independent Feature 
Project had just plowed the ground a little bit and we could 
use some of the recommendations they had for how to work it 
and all. We hope to do that some more. 

I'd hoped to spend more time distributing the film in theaters 
in the mountains. I think there's a real opportunity for in- 
dependent work to be shown in a lot of small locally-owned 
theaters here in the mountains, and they are looking for 
material. They are not able to get top, first-run films because 
the distributors are sending them to the big cities first, so it 
seems to me that there's a real vacuum in rural areas for inde- 
pendent work. I just hope that we can spend more time doing 
that, but it turns out that I'm involved in working on other film 


HERB: The only problem with that film now is that it's in 
16mm and we don't plan to blow it up. That's the major prob- 
lem with local theaters, in that we have to kind of hand-do 
each show. Which is the way we'd rather do it, actually. The 
prints aren't a problem, and we'd rather do our publicity 
because we think there's an audience of people who don't 
really go to theaters who would really like to see films of this 
type in theaters, you know — people who aren't 14 to 21. 

QUESTION: How was the Janus theater showing set up? 

HERB: We four-walled it, actually. We just called them up 
and struck a deal. We had shown some films at the Janus in 
74, a series of Appalshop short films set up by an organiza- 
tion that was using the show mainly as a fundraiser. Janus 

The "Two-in-One" rocker from HAND CARVED. 


wanted to keep the films on for a longer run, once they saw 
the films. So we showed them two nights commercially and 
one night as a benefit for the organization. 


HERB: We do just about all the processing at TVC in New 
York, and sometimes we mix in New York. It's like one New 
York trip per film to do that job. Noelle Penratt has been cut- 
ting our original for the negative films. We shoot 7247 now — 
that's what Handcarved is shot in. Really love that film. All of 
the processing is done by mail. 

QUESTION: You use TVC? A lot of the people we've talked 
to use DuArt. 

HERB: We've dealt with DuArt a long time and kind of like 
those people all right, but TVC gave us a good price. We 
negotiated with them, especially with the release prints. So 
we struck a deal with them across the line on processing and 
the release prints. We got a good price and they do beautiful 
work, so how can you beat that? I'd say we've got six film proj- 
ects in the process right now. There's a film on women coal 
miners, a film on politics in Leslie County, Kentucky, there's a 
film on the music of the Carter family, a film on tobacco farm- 
ing, an update on the destruction of community after the Buf- 
falo Creek Flood disaster in West Virginia, and a couple of 
other contract films that we've got going. We're finding out 
that with almost al the films in progress now we're going to 
have to go back and raise finishing costs. We just went to the 
Benton Foundation in Washington DC, and got $5,000 to 
finish up this film on politics in Leslie County. 

HERB: When we go to foundations or any kind of funding 
agency, often they've heard about us, and sometimes they've 
given us a grant before. There's nothing better than the fact 
that they already know you due to a good track record of 
finished films and successful projects. But we haven't gotten 
grants from a lot of people that should be giving us money. 
The Rockefeller Foundation has never given us a nickel. 

QUESTION: Does Rockefeller own coal mines around There? 

HERB: That's the problem with this whole region. You've got 
millions of dollars a year going out to these energy corpora- 
tions, the Rockefellers have made millions from the resources 

of the region, and very little of it is returned. Very few of the 
foundation dollars are returned to the source. We're working 
on that, but sometimes we're not successful. Sometimes we 

Another fundraising problem which goes along with outside 
corporate ownership is that most of our people don't have 
much cash. In a community with so many people getting by on 
the cheap, it's hard to raise local money. The only people with 
a lot of money are coal operators and they aren't about fo fund 

QUESTION: So how much of your time and the time of 
everyone down there is spent just on raising grants and rais- 
ing funds? 

HERB: The way we work it, with a single person seeing the 
whole film through from proposal stage through the ending, 
that single person is responsible for raising his or her own 
cash, so all the filmmakers are involved in fundraising to some 
extent. But we have had one person here who coordinated 
those fundraising efforts for the whole organization. In terms 
of percentage of time, that's a hard one because you never 
know when you're fundraising and when you're making the 
film. During the early stages of the film, when you're doing the 
research and writing it up, a lot of that fundraising process 
really is filmmaking, because you're putting your ideas on 
paper and discussing those with other people here at the 
shop, and thinking through it a lot. 


HERB: We've not been in that close touch with outside 
groups, like the filmmakers in New York — they haven't been 
a major source of support for us. You know, we're down here 
in the heart of Appalachian coal fields, three hours from the 
nearest airport, 150 miles to Lexington, and 100 miles over bad 
road to the tri-city airport. So it's not like we can stay in 
steady contact with filmmakers in New York or the com- 
munities in the south that much. I think there's a lot of mutual 
support and exchange of ideas that we're starting to get more 
involved in, but we strongly believe that our main front is mak- 
ing it here. It's easy to get too strung out and too diffused, 
keeping in contact with a big country. But we would like to 
stay in touch with people across the country, and I think par- 
ticularly other rural organizations who are trying to work in dif- 
ferent areas. 









NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 • (212) 228-4024 


post- pRoop*giffiiimg»ttsa available 




New Wave or Mirage * Diana Peck 

Independent producers have heard it all before. A new 
medium is introduced and glorious opportunities are 
predicted for marketing programming. Of all the new 
developments in television, only two indicate truly new direc- 
tions for the television industry. One development is local pro- 
gramming. The second is a component of local programming 
— access programming. By understanding the ways these 
two developments differ from traditional television, in- 
dependents will be able to gain wider distribution of their pro- 
gramming and may be able to create new markets altogether. 


Television, it seems, has grown up backwards. Almost from 
the day it was born, more than thirty years ago, it was a na- 
tional medium Television took three hand-me-down commer- 
cial networks from ts older sibling, radio, and soon made the 
networks so glamorous and expensive that radio had to 
become a local medium to survive. 

Now commercially mature — and even, some argue, entering 
its dotage — television has a second chance to go through its 
childhood. Many means of distributing a televison signal are 
being used for the first time on a widespread basis. The in- 
creasing use of new distribution means, such as cable, 
satellite, over-the-air pay (scrambled signal) and, potentially, 
direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and low-power television 
(LPTV), is creating an unprecedented demand for new pro- 

Only two of these new means of distribution, however, allow 
television to grow and develop in a direction that it has never 
followed before. Both cable and low power television are 
suitable for distributing local programming to limited 
audiences. With local use of these relatively inexpensive 
forms of distribution, television no longer has to reach the 
largest audience possible with programming of the lowest 
common denominator. It can finally afford to target smaller 
sections of its audience, programming for distinct groups 
rather than for the masses. If the idea of localism in television 
is allowed to develop, it will offer new opportunities to in- 
dependent producers. 


Traditionally, cable TV offers two types of local programming: 
local origination and access. The distinction is quite simple — 
local origination (LO) is programming produced by the local 
cable company, while access is produced by individuals, 
organizations or institutions within the community. The con- 
tent could be identical. Coverage of a local softball game 
could be local origination or access, depending on who is 
responsible for the production or who has acquired the rights 
to show it. A cable company could buy rights to a program 
from an independent producer and it would be cconsidered 
LO. An access user could arrange to show a program that was 
produced by a national organization such as the US Fire Ad- 
ministration; that showing would be considered access. 

Local origination follows the same structure as commercial 
television. The cable operator, who expects to sell advertising 
time, selects the program ideas, then has company staff or 
outside producers create the programming. By marketing pro- 
grams to LO directors that appeal to the local rather than 
national audience, the independent can match the content of 
a show very precisely with the targeted audience. 

Access is an entirely new concept for television, not because 
it is non-commercial but because it has none of the gate- 
keepers other television has. Due to the scarcity of television 
signals, both commercial and non-commercial television 
stations have to be highly selective about what will be aired. 
With cable promising abundant channel capacity, television 
has for the first time since its birth more channels than 


Access programming got its start almost ten years ago when 
the FCC required cable systems with more than 3500 sub- 
scribers to provide educational, municipal, public and leased 
access. Although the FCC no longer requires access, many 
municipalities still require that some channel capacity be 
available for it. Over the years, access has become a 
community activity in those towns where it has become estab- 
lished. With quality and level of participation varying from 
town to town. Some have made provisions for paid staff; 
others have relied solely on volunteers. In some places most 
access programs are produced by individuals; elsewhere 
organizations and institutions within the community produce 
the bulk of it. Some local programs resemble affectionately 
produced home movies; others are highly sophisticated, often 
indistinguishable from first-class professional programs. 
Often the only equipment available is an old 1/2" black and 
white Porta-pak; in some towns or cities, full color studios 
and/or mobile vans are available in addition to up-to-date por- 
table equipment. 

Although the FCC no longer distinguishes between the dif- 
ferent types of access, most communities still do. Educa- 
tional and municipal access are means of distributing pro- 
gramming that originates from a community's schools or 
government. The inadequacy of over-the-air channel capacity 
is clearly illustrated by educational access. School systems or 
colleges which could get only an hour or two of late-night or 
early-morning time each week on local public television sta- 
tions can, with an access channel, telecast programs during 
normal waking hours. 

Public access reserves time for any individual or organization 
in a community to distribute programming. Originally con- 
ceived as an "electronic soapbox" where individuals would be 
guaranteed free production of a five-minute tape, public ac- 
cess channels now normally schedule full-length programs 
produced by the community. 

Leased access differs from the other types of access because 
it is commercial. A producer may buy time on the channel at a 
nominal fee, show any programming as long as it does not 
violate obscenity, libel, gaming, or copyright laws and, if the 
producer chooses, sell commercial spots. Some independent 
producers have supported low-budget productions this way 
while gaining exposure and experience. 


For some independent producers access not only serves as a 
means of increasing distribution of their programs, but also 
as a way of generating financial support. If a producer is 
limited to non-commercial productions, sometimes having a 
guaranteed distribution outlet helps persuade funding agen- 
cies. Often access centers can help provide equipment or per- 


Access can also offer independent producers a new market 
for their services. For the first time, local government and 
social service agencies have a reason to produce television 
programs regularly. Most will not want to hire specialized staff 
just to produce programs, yet they may not want to rely on 
volunteers or the amateur skills of existing staff. Indepen- 
dents producers can market their production expertise to 
such agencies, working with agency staff to develop the con- 
tent of a program and then supervising and/or executing the 
production itself. 

This approach differs from the traditional way independent 
producers raise funds in several ways. First, the content is not 
the choice or responsibility of the independent. Second, the 
independent does not have to raise the funds for the produc- 
tion — that is up to the sponsoring agency. Third, the inde- 
pendent may not be paid on the basis of the finished product 
(e.g., so many dollars per minute of tape), but rather on the 
basis of what services are performed. The model indepen- 
dents could follow for marketing their services in this way to 
agencies could be one of production consultant rather than 
producer. A production consultant would be paid on a "per 
day" or "per service" basis. 

As access channels become more widely used, especially in 
large cities, this way of producing programs should become 
more common. In Reading, PA, for example, where access has 
become a part of the community, the City Planning Bureau 
recently produced two television series to be shown over the 
access channels. One, a series of 17 one-hour programs, ex- 
amined architecture in Reading and historic preservation proj- 
ects. The second, a series of six one-hour programs, applied 
landscape architecture to row-house backyards by describing 
techniques and plants Reading residents could use to create 
gardens in their own yards. Independents could market the 
idea of producing such programs to existing local agencies. 


Despite the fact that it has existed for a decade, the right of 
access to cable television is not yet secure. While some cable 
operators support access, providing equipment and staff for 
programming, others are reluctant to provide even channel 
time unless they are forced to (especially on older systems 
with 12 or 20 channels), and some are willing to fight the idea 
of access in the courts. Some operators realize the benefits 
they derive from access — improved community relations, 
free programming that attracts residents who may not other- 
wise subscribe to cable, and development of cable as an in- 
dispensable local medium. Other cable operators feel access 
impinges on their right to have complete control over the con- 
tent of all the channels they deliver to subscribers (except 
required repeating of over-the-air signals). This attitude is 
becoming more common as satellite-delivered programming 
promises more revenues from pay tiers and advertising and 
competes with access for channel space. 

The question of whether cable companies should have com- 
plete control over the content of all channels is crucial to in- 
dependent producers. As Ralph Smith, author of The Wired 
Nation and consultant to the cable industry, recently pointed 
out in a speech to the NFLCP (see box), the cable industry has 
already prevented producers who have programming — even 
free programming — for which there is public demand and for 
which there is adequate channel capacity from distributing 
their programs on cable. This means that the role of the cable 


company goes beyond the delivery of a service to the selec- 
tion of what services will be delivered and, therefore, to con- 
trol of the content of the channels. 

Some may argue that this is no different from the control 
television broadcasters already have. But broadcasters, who 
are already subject to FCC regulations that do not apply to 
cable, usually do not have monopolistic control of all the 
channels available to a community. The cable operator, 
however, would have complete control over the content of all 
channels coming into a community's homes (except repeated 
over-the-air signals) unless some access channels or other 
channel capacity set-aside is required. 


The only way access channels can be required is through 
some type of government regulation — federal, state, or local. 
Given the current intensity of deregulation fever in 
Washington, the FCC is expected to continue its recent trend 
toward relaxing regulations. Only eleven states have cable 
regulatory offices, and several of those may move toward 
deregulation. Cable is now regulated, for the most part, on the 
local level, where a cable company must obtain permission to 
string wires on utility poles. Municipal governments, which 
typically grant ten- or fifteen-year franchises to cable 
operators, usually regulate rates and require minimal levels of 
service. When cable operators request rate increases, the 
government may request additional services, such as access 

The cable television industry is attempting through its trade 
association, the National Cable Television Association, to 
introduce an amendment to federal legislation that would pro- 
hibit any rate regulation for any cable service by any level of 
government. Introduced in July without public hearings, this 
amendment to Senate Bill 898 (S.898) would prevent any city 
from requiring free or low-cost channels, from requiring free 
or low-cost access studio facilities, from requiring that there 
be a non-commercial rate structure for leasing channel time, 
or that any public building such as a library or school receive 
free or low-cost service as is now common practice. Most im- 
portantly, if a municipal government has no control over rates, 
it cannot review the performance of a cable operator when the 
operator requests a rate increase, including the operator's 
willingness to make access available. It also means that there 
is no public review of the rates charged by what is usually a 

The amendment to S898 has, however, two important excep- 
tions. One exempts public, educational, and municipal access 
from the rate regulation prohibition. "Access" is not defined, 
however, and the municipality's most common way of enforc- 
ing an operator's delivery of access services would be re- 
moved. This exemption resulted from the considerable protest 
filed by access users, city governments, the NFLCP, the 
National League of Cities, the National Citizens Committee 
for Broadcasting, and other groups last year against amend- 
ments introduced with another Senate telecommunications 
bill that would have prohibited cities from requiring any ac- 
cess and that would have prohibited the existence of 
municipal access. 

The second exception to the rate regulation prohibition in 
S.898 is when cable is deemed to be the only way a communi- 
ty can receive television signals, i.e., a monopoly. The cable 
industry has argued in a position paper to Senator Robert 

Packwood (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Com- 
mittee, that cable should not be considered a monopoly even 
if there is only one cable company providing a community 
with cable television services. The cable company is not a 
monopoly because it competes with over-the-air television, 
video players, movie theatres, live theatre etc. for a viewer's 
time and money. Therefore, the paper argues, the cable in- 
dustry should be free of all regulation and should control all 
the content of all the channels. If the amendment to S.898 
were passed with this second exception, it would set a 
legislative precedent for cable not being considered a 
monopoly except under the unusual circumstance when it is 
the only way for a community to get television. 

If access to cable television is denied for any reason, it will be 
a great loss to the public and to independent producers in the 
years to come. We are at an exciting time in telecommunica- 
tions history right now, a time when precedents are being set 
so quickly that individuals have considerable opportunity to 
influence the process. Unless citizens become involved in the 
policy-making process, the public interest is likely to be ig- 
nored right now in favor of commercial interests. The Com- 
munications Act of 1934, which currently guides FCC policy, 
contains several assumptions which are now being slighted, if 
not ignored. One assumption is that the limited broadcast 
spectrum belongs to the public and should be used to serve 
the public interest, convenience and necessity. In the past, 
the FCC has set aside a certain amount of spectrum space for 
non-commercial use, which is how public television and radio 
stations acquired their right to spectrum space even though 
they were not prepared to broadcast as quickly as commercial 

Another assumption of the 1934 legislation is that localism in 
media is important — that the ability of a community to talk to 
its citizens and its neighbors easily over the electronic media 
is important. Satellite programming is transforming cable 
television from a medium with a local focus to a medium that 
will carry primarily national programming. As consolidation of 
national corporate ownership increases in cable, local pro- 
gramming will be emphasized only to the extent that it makes 
money or is required by government. Local opportunities for 
independent producers will depend, then, on local re- 
quirements and local markets for access and LO programm- 

Independent producers who want to support the idea of ac- 
cess to the media so that diverse voices can be heard and so 
that local programming can be developed can do several 

things. First, they can contact the NFLCP to get more infor- 
mation, to learn about conferences, and to get in touch with 
other local producers. Second, they can urge their Congres- 
sional representatives to support access to cable television. 
Third, they can find out what opportunities exist in their own 
communities, whether or not they have cable television. (The 
NFLCP provides its members with tips on where to look for 
the information if it's not obvious.) 

By using local television and supporting the public's right of 
access to the media, independent producers will create oppor- 
tunities for their own work to reach the audiences who want 
to see it. 


The National Federation of Local Cable Programmers is a non- 
profit, grassroots organization with more than 1500 members 
throughout the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1976, it is the 
only national voice primarily interested in developing com- 
munity television programming and the use of access chan- 
nels. It provides a national and local voice in support of 
access, presents annual awards for the best in local program- 
ming, holds conferences and publishes information to 
educate the public about access. 

The goals of the NFLCP are to discover and assist users of 
local channels, to facilitate the exchange of information be- 
tween people throughout the country who are concerned with 
community-responsive programming, and to spread innovative 
programming ideas among community access centers. Final- 
ly, the NFLCP seeks to ensure continued public access to 

To learn more about NFLCP conferences, activities, publica- 
tions and projects, including a training program for local pro- 
gramming directors, write or call: NFLCP, 3700 Far Hills 
Avenue, Kettering, OH 45429, (513) 298-7890. 

Now serving as Chairman of the NFLCP, Diana Peck is an 
instructor in the Communication Department at William Pater- 
son College of New Jersey. A doctoral candidate at Teachers 
College, Columbia University, she is the principal author and 
editor of The Cable Television Franchising Primer and has 
served on the cable TV advisory committee in Hastings-on- 
Hudson, New York, where she lives. The views expressed by 
Ms. Peck do not necessarily reflect the position of the NFLCP. 



150 S 194 SEATS BOTH WITH 16 £ 35MM 






Partially supported by NYSCA 

-Complete Animation 

-Special Effects 
-Title Design 
-Computerized Oxberry 

with Image Expander 

to Independents 

38 East 20 Street 
New York NY 10003 

Film Planning Associates 



years of award winning films 



While there is as yet no women's local cable TV channel in the 
United States, composite women's channels on cable tele- 
vision have been bid on or awarded in several U S cities. These 
"hybrid" channels include such national women's cable chan- 
nels as Beta (ABC/Hearst owned) and USA Network (UA/ Col- 
umbia). Some include potential local leased-access program- 
ming with ads and sponsors, and also programming 
originated by the local franchise operator. Except for limited 
women's public access-type programming (often controlled by 
the franchise operator), they offer a largely commercial 
presentation of women's image and needs, like that of broad- 
cast television. 

An alternative suggested by the newly-created Women's 
Cable Television Clearinghouse is women's public access 
channels, locally programmed and controlled by women, 
similar in operation to the 90-plus Black-Hispanic, senior 
citizens' and children's community channels across the coun- 
try. Such women-run channels would be part of the basic ser- 
vice offered by cable operators, rather than a tiered or 
subscription service. They would offer local programming by 
individual women and women's groups: interactive program- 
ming between city officials, PTAs and women's groups on 
issues such as day care, health needs of children, housing; 
programming on needs for city funding centers for rape crisis 
or sexual abuse centers, shelters for homeless or battered 
women; oral histories of women; literature, plays, video art; 
special events such as Lesbian Pride Weeks or Third World 
women's conferences; women's speakouts, meetings and 
demonstrations. Production of such programming would af- 
ford women experience in designing and operating their own 
channel and control of their own image in television. 

The Women's Cable Television Clearinghouse is facilitating 
the development of locally-operated women's community 
channels by gathering information on the status of franchises, 
sharing model franchise act clauses with activists and 
women's groups, giving information on diverse structures for 
channel operation and video production and ascertaining pro- 
gramming availability. 

The first women's community cable channel to turn on will 
probably be Women to Women, in January, in Dallas, for 
which women's groups are already participating in community 
video training. Although potentially composite, the Warner- 
Amex winning bid allows Dallas women to veto the national 
women's commercial channels on their community channel if 
they wish. Women's community channel programming is con- 
trolled by the Dallas Cable TV Advisory Board and will be run 
on a first-come basis. 

Elsewhere women's community channels are still in the fran- 
chising process. At the other extreme from Dallas is the 
women's channel proposed by Teleprompter in Tucson. This 
composite channel would feature Beta, local origination pro- 
gramming by Teleprompter and potential leased-access pro- 
gramming. Its limited locally-created women's programming 
(not public access) is subject to franchise operator control. 
Seven other companies are bidding on women's channels in 
Tucson. Other proposals with composite women's channels 
have been made in Los Angeles' East Valley by Cable America 
and others, in the Downey Cluster near Santa Ana, and in 
Boston by Warner-Amex. 

Composite channels with national commercial and local 
leased-access women's programming are likely to spread. 
Dallas' proposal was made before the national channels 
became available. Marcia Temple, an independent cable con- 
sultant on Teleprompter's Tucson design, points out that 
composite channels have the advantage of being profitable to 
the local cable operator; if the cable company started to lose 
money, it would take the channel away. 

Tayloe Ross of the Women's Cable Television Clearinghouse 
contends that where women's channels are provided by the 
municipality's franchise act or in the cable company's winning 
proposal, cable operators are obligated to provide the 

These women's community channels should be granted for 
the same reason as other public access channels — as a 
public service in return for the monopoly the franchiser is 
granted over municipal channels. "Women's only chance to 
create our own programming on television as a community 
and to fully utilize our First Amendment rights may be lost 
unless women inform themselves about the women's public 
access channels and seek them out. Women's composite 
channels, financed by men and operated to exploit the 
women's market, are no substitute for our own voices on 
television. Men should not control women's images and pro- 

Annie Hall, VP for public relations, Dallas Warner-Amex, spells 
it out another way. "Just because it [the national channel] is 
called The Women's Channel, sometimes the local women's 
organizations do not consider that programming appropriate 
...We run into this problem in the religious community in 
that the local churches or synagogues do not feel that PTL is 
appropriate complementary programming. They would rather 

have a blank space in their programming than have PTI 

because they see themselves as being totally different." 



295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 


16mm & 35mm 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 243-3550 

Complete Crystal Controlled Systems 

Arri BL/Nagra 4.2 Package CP16R/Nagra III Package 

includes: 10-100 Zeiss zoom, two mags, two battery 

belts, Sachtler tripod, changing bag and 

recorder with headset and ATN 


includes: 12-120 zoom, handgrip, orientable viewfinder, 
two mags, two batteries, two chargers, NCE tripod, 
changing bag and recorder with headset and ATN 


Full range of 16mm/S8mm and Video 
Production and Postproduction Services available 

Call 673-9361 

Young Filmakers /Video Arts 

4 Rivington Street 
New York City 10002 

Bring this ad to YF/VA and receive a free copy of the Equipment Loan Handbook 


N.E.H. GRANTS by Jane Morrison 

I recently served as a panelist for the National^ Endowment for 
the Humanities (NEH) Media Program to review proposals in 
film and radio. NEH is an important source of support for inde- 
pendent projects even with the Reagan Administration's 
budget cuts. I was impressed with the depth and fairness of 
the panel's evaluation of each proposal. 

It is important to realize right from the start that NEH's pur- 
pose is not to fund films, but to fund innovative television and 
radio projects that will utilize current scholarship to promote 
and develop public awareness of the humanities. So you must 
evaluate your project in terms of their criteria: does it or can it 
use the resources and insights of the humanities to present a 
particular subject to an out-of-school audience — particularly 
a public television audience? To get an idea of projects that 
have met their criteria, read descriptions of projects they have 
funded in the past (available upon request), talk to someone 
you know who has applied, call a project director in 
Washington for advice, or read the NEH Research Division's 
annual report. 

Sometimes NEH is particularly interested in a project because 
it focuses on an area that has not been fully explored in the 
media, like linguistics or judicial history. Other types of proj- 
ects such as costly dramatic productions, are so unlikely to 
be funded that you may be discouraged from applying. The lat- 
ter advice is usually based upon the realities and experience 
of past rounds rather than on personal determinations. It may 
be worthwhile to apply anyway, since the panel and the 
readers of the proposal make independent recommendations 
to the National Council and the Chairperson and often sur- 
prise the staff with their choices. If the project fits the criteria 
for the humanities you have as good a chance as anyone. 

As applicants, independent producers have some things work- 
ing in their favor. First we are in a position to be creative and 
innovative with projects that public television and major pro- 
ducers would never undertake. Secondly, with budget cut- 
backs, fewer series will be feasible, and one program that 
does the job a whole series used to do will be more attractive 
to the NEH. 

Once you have determined the viability of your project for 
NEH funding, you have to write an extensive and difficult pro- 
posal. Scholars can help you conceptualize and analyze the 
central humanities issues, and will often write or rewrite 
whole sections. Usually you work closely with one or two 
scholars and have several others, preferably nationally known 
in their field, who read what the core group does. Project 
directors can often suggest scholars for you to work with. The 
bulk of the proposal is documentation of the humanities con- 
tent and justification of the project's significance to a con- 
temporary audience. You may need as much as three or four 
months to line up your consultants and prepare the proposal. 

The first draft should be submitted 6 weeks before the 
deadline so that the staff can read it and make recommenda- 
tions, note incompletions, weaknesses etc. Early submission 
is not mandatory, but the preliminary examination is useful. 
What you submit must carry the ball for the whole project, so 
it should be complete, concise and convincing. Remember 
that the panel may have to read as many as 70 for one 
meeting, so make it as distinctive and interesting as possible. 

Your proposal goes to a three-stage review: readers, panel and 
National Council for the Humanities. Since 95% of what the 
panel recommends is approved, this is clearly a critical stage. 
The panel is instructed to look at the proposals with the 
following questions in mind: 

Will the project, as presented, contribute significantly to the 
public's access to and understanding of the humanities? In 
other words, does the public gain" a fresh or distinct view 
because of the humanities' presence? 

Does it make clearly defined use of specific humanities 
resources, such as published scholarship, field research and 
artifacts, and are these resources central or peripheral to the 
purpose of the project? 

Does it move beyond the simple presentation of information to 
an examination and interpretation ot theses, values and funda- 
mental concepts? 

Have humanities scholars and highly skilled and experienced 
media professionals fully collaborated in the design of the proj- 
ect? Do their projected roles seem adequate and appropriate to 
the project's needs? Is there an imbalance in the strengths of 
the principals in the project? 

Does the project address the subject matter in a perceptive and 
imaginative manner that will be attractive to an adult audience? 
Does it offer some broad clarity to the subject? 

Does the applicant appear likely to be able to carry out the proj- 
ect successfully? Is there a sound grasp of the ideas of the par- 
ticular medium? 

Is the budget realistic? Does it reflect sound professional think- 
ing and economy? 

Do the schedules make sense and is the production style or 
technique feasible? 

Can the proposal be effectively translated into quality television, 
film or radio programming? 

Is the project a duplication of what is already available? 

Is the project likely to be used after its initial airing? 

The panel I was on consisted of 5 scholars and 5 media 
people. There was great mutual respect; we tended, oddly 
enough, to reach the same conclusions on the strengths and 
weaknesses of the proposals. The scholars on the panel were 
typical of the ones I have worked with on my projects: percep- 
tive, flexible, unpretentious men and women, well-versed in 
their fields, thorough in their analysis. 

The staff's role at the panel stage was primarily to remind us 
of specific content in the proposal, particularly when the 
panel took a poorly presented idea and got carried away with 
what it could be. Our enthusiasm often subsided upon 
reevaluation of whether the actual proposal demonstrated 
that the applicants could develop or execute an effective proj- 
ect. A successful applicant presents a strong idea, 
demonstrates knowledge of its value, and has the background 
as a filmmaker or videomaker comparable to the difficulty of 
the project. 

When you apply for development funds, the idea is more 
critical than the production personnel. But for the production 
grants the personnel get a strict evaluation. Being a recipient 
of an NEH preproduction grant does not make you more 
competitive at the production level. Some independents get 


turned down at this stage, shocked and disappointed because 
a panel has not felt their experience equal to the difficulty of 
the film they propose. If you are worried about not having a 
strong enough background, try to team up with an executive 
producer, producer or co-director with a more impressive 
track record. It is naive to think that most independents can 
compete with the professional personnel the NEH has used, 
especially in drama. The American Short Story set a standard 
everyone must meet. 

The NEH feels less risk in funding independents for documen- 
tary work. In their experience independents' early dramatic 
work has consistently failed to develop characters and rela- 
tions between them, so that cold, flat personalities lacking in- 
ternal intensity often resulted. Control of timing within a 
scene and from scene to scene is also a frequent problem. 
While European festivals expect independent films to look 
and move differently from Hollywood-Network professional 
standards, NEH clearly does not. Our dilemma remains to 
maintain the integrity of our own style while meeting these 

NEH's evaluation of your proposal leaves few stones un- 
turned. If the project has overall strength, it may in spite of 
minor flaws pass. But no proposal with glaring inadequacies 
gets approval, no matter how good the idea. It gets sent back 
to the applicant, who then must ask for the criticisms made in 

the reviews. No one is specifically asked to reapply, but many 
do and are funded the second or third time around. You have 
to evaluate the chances based on the panel's criticisms and 
your discussions with the staff. 

In the future, NEH may have as little as $3.8 million for media 
projects compared to the $9 million they had this year, this 
means that competition will be three times as tough, expen- 
sive dramatic projects even less practical, and all large proj- 
ects more likely to require other sources of matching funds. 
Still, if you have an idea for a film or tape that you think they 
could support, by all means get in touch with them. 

There are comparable local humanities organizations in 
every state and Puerto rico, which offer the same media 
program on a smaller scale. Outright grants are avail- 
able at an average of $20,000, along with some match- 
ing grants. Their criteria and process are similar to 
those of the NEH, although unique in each state. If your 
project is regional in scope, you may find valuable sup- 
port there, especially since they are less influenced by 
national production standards. New York State's Coun- 
cil is one of the toughest, with many applicants and a 
strict staff. 


by Gordon Hitchens 

Hollywood director Claudia Weill, whose recent It's My Turn 
for Ray Stark starred Jill Clayburgh, Michael Douglas and 
Charles Grodin, has returned from Brazil to New York with 
plans for another feature. Her next project will be either a 
musical or a drama about a twelve-year-old girl. She may seek 
independent financing, despite her new status in Hollywood. 

Weill states that she is not closed to occasional documen- 
taries, consistent with her origins in the New York indepen- 
dent documentary movement as a producer and cameraper- 
son. In 1975, Weill directed and shot Oscar-nominee The Other 
Half of The Sky: A China Memoir. Shirley MacLaine produced. 

Her Brazilian tour took Weill to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and 
Brasilia, screening her independent first feature, Girlfriends, 
in cultural events arranged by the U.S. International Com- 
munications Agency. The five-day tour enabled Weill to meet 
Brazilian cineastes and to observe the burgeoning Brazilian 
cinema industry. 

Reviewing her transition from documentary to Hollywood 
features, Weill spoke recently (June 3) as luncheon guest of 
the American Film Festival, produced at the Grand Hyatt 
Hotel by the Educational Film Library Association. She stated 
that the Hollywood pace and morality, and the bigness of 
business there, had her baffled for a time. High costs in 
Hollywood necessarily impose conservative choices, Weill 
observed. Producers opt for proven formulae and are fearful of 
risks, fearful even of low-budget experimentation. A minimum 
of seven million dollars is needed for a feature, and a 
director's responsibility for so much money makes him or her 
beholden to the producing apparatus, causing a certain inhibi- 

tion and powerlessness. One becomes an administrator, not a 

Paradoxically, Weill found that she had less creative freedom 
in Hollywood, with more money at her disposal than she had 
had earlier as a shoestring independent in New York. In 1977, 
Weill directed Girlfriends for $140,000, using loans and grants 
from the American Film Institute and other sources. Blown up 
from 16mm to 35mm, Girlfriends was a critical and festival 
success, leading Warner Brothers to pick it up for worldwide 
theatrical release. This coup led to a two-picture deal in 

As part of her new Hollywood persona, Weill had to join the 
Directors Guild of America, which meant that she could nc 
longer touch the camera, despite her documentary expertise 
of many years as a cameraperson. Oddly, her success as e 
filmmaker was distancing her from the actual filmmaking 

Nevertheless, Weill is determined to continue fiction films 
and is attracted to feminist themes, calling 9 to 5 a very impor 
tant political film. She concedes, however, that the capacity ol 
cinema to provoke basic social change is weak and doubtful 
Weill's intentions in cinema are more modest — to make peo 
pie more aware of one another and more responsible towarc 
one another. 

Far down the road is a career-biography of her relative Kur 
Weill, emphasizing his 1920's opera and theater work in Berlir 
with Bertolt Brecht, until his postwar Hollywood and Broad 
way period. 




SAL FILM, Fuji color. 140 rolls of 
400f, tungsten/B wind, 8428/ 
500ASA; 30 rolls of 400f, tungsten/B 
wind, 8427/125ASA. $28 per roll. 
Contact: M.D. Licastro, 345 East 69 
St., New York NY 10020, (212) 

deck, AC power pack. Reasonable 
price. (212) 858-3228. 

FOR SALE: F & B Ceco Ball Fluid 
head tripod & Sta-set, $400; NCE 
SMT Triangle, $50; Mitchell 1200' 
magazine, like new, $600; Anvil case 
for 1200' Mitchell mags, $150; 
Frenzi body brace for 16mm, $175; 
10" D Anvilite tripod case (will hold 
Ceco), $66. Call: (716) 886-9777, 

FOR RENT: Great discounts. Arri 
16SR camera, new. 2 mags, 3 bat- 
teries, variable speed control, finder 
extender, bellows matt box, 
shoulder pad, 10-150 Angenieux 
zoom lens, 9, 16, 25 super speeds, 
all filters, O'Connor 50D head, legs, 
baby legs, high hat, lights. Call: 
(212) 787-5715. 

RENT: Film & tape, 25' x 36' with 
18' ceiling, full lighting & grip 
package, equipped with grid & cat- 
walk, fully air-conditioned, 600 amp 
service. Contact: Robert Aden, 
Studio Manager, Atelier Cinema 
Video Stages. (212) 243-3550, 


POSIUM, the only global forum 
devoted to all aspects of infor- 
mation display, will be held in San 
Diego CA, May 11-13 1982. Sub- 
mission deadline for papers: Dec. 7. 

For more info: SFID, 654 North 
Sepulveda Blvd., Los angeles CA 
90049, or Walter Goede, Symposium 
Program Chairman, Northrop, 2301 
West 102 St., Hawthorne CA 90250, 
(213) 418-4592. 


FOR RENT: Editing and postproduc- 
tion facilities available. Fully- 
equipped rooms. Two 6-plate Steen- 
becks, one 16/35 KEM, sound trans- 
fers from 1 /4" to 16mm & 35mm 
mag, narration recording, extensive 
sound effects library, interlock 
screening room. Contact: Cinetudes 
Film Productions Ltd., 295 West 4th 
St., New York NY 10014, (212) 


seeks films about anthropology, 
animals, nature studies, folktales 
from different cultures, pottery mak- 
ing, kite flying, street games; for in- 
clusion in the American Museum of 
Natural History's Christmas Film 
Festival. Send promotional material 
to: Merrill Lee Fuchs, Museum 
Festival Coordinator, MCFC, 3 West 
29 St., 11th Fl., New York NY 10001, 

CHAIR is a non-profit organization 
of professional women dedicated to 
the expansion of women's roles in 
the film industry. They are now plan- 
ning Short Takes, a monthly screen- 
ing series of short films of any 
genre, written, produced or directed 
by women. For more info, contact: 
WITDC, c/o Abby Darrow-Sherman, 
1430 West Elmdale, Chicago IL 
60660, (312) 262-2723. 

wanted for distribution. Small com- 
pany, good sales record, personal 
product attention. Open to different 
distribution arrangements. Contact: 
Peter Lodge, Circle Oak Produc- 
tions, 73 Girdle Ridge Dr., Katonah 
NY 10536, (914)232-9451. 


ARTWORK is a federally-funded 
employability program for artists 
who are New York City residents, 
sponsored by the Foundation for 
the Community of Artists. For more 
info: FFTCOA, 280 Broadway, Suite 
412, New York NY 10017, (212) 

NEW YORK is a non-profit corpora- 
tion, founded to support women's 
significant participation in the 
economy, generate cooperation and 
creative competition, and promote 
the development of a positive 
atmosphere for women in the 
business community. For more info: 
WBOONY, 150 West 52 St., New 
York NY 10019, (212) 245-8230. 


KATHLEEN KLINE announced ap- 
plication guidelines for this year's 
Independent Documentary Fund. In- 
dependents (US citizens and resi- 
dent Americans) are eligible to 
apply for up to $90,000 for produc- 
tion funds of new documentaries or 
for completion of works-in- 
progress. Deadline for receipt of ap- 
plication is Dec. 1. Contact: IDF, 
Television Laboratory, WNET/13, 
356 West 58 St., New York NY 
10019, (212) 560-3194. 



direct swaps of studio and living 
space internationally. Contact: 
IVAEP, PO Box 207, Village Station, 
201 Varick St., New York NY 10014, 
(212) 255-5706. 


is As Good As Ten Mothers, Nov. 
11-24, (with Werner Herzog Eats His 
Shoe, & Stoney Knows How); Strong 
Medicine, Nov. 25-Dec. 8. For more 
info: FF, 57 Watts St., New York NY 


Robert Fair Music Productions. 
Call: (212) 966-2852. 

WRITER, freelance, treatments, etc. 
Call: Blanche Mednick, (212) 


Northwest Media Project) an- 
nounces the publication of its new 
Oregon Guide To Media Services, $5 
plus $1 postage. Contact: MP, PO 
Box 4093, Portland OR 97208, (503) 

FILM? The Independent 
Filmmaker's Guide describes how 
to raise money from investors and 
how much to expect realistically 
from distribution of your shorts and 
documentaries to cable, PBS, 
foreign television, educational 
markets, videotape/disc and 
theaters. Included are sample 
distribution and partnership con- 
tracts, and budgets for production, 
premiere and self-distribution. 
$16.95, includes postage. Contact: 
Michael Wiese Films, Box 245-1, 
Sausalito CA 94966. 


THREE WOMEN from the public 
broadcasting community have been 
selected to participate in a pilot 
women's and minorities' graduate 
project in public broadcasting 
management at the Ohio University 
School of Radio-TV in Athens. They 
are Tara Missal, program director, 
WCAE-TV; Valeria Lee, station 
manager, WVSP-FM; and Mercedes 
Sabio, program producer, WGBH- 
TV. For more info: CPB, 1111 16th 
St. NW, Washington DC 20036, (202) 

Scripts a specialty. By appointment 
only. Contact: Peggy's Desk, 2109 
Broadway, Suite 1665, New York NY 
10023, (212)877-2351. 

PRODUCERS announces the ap- 
pointment of its first advisors: 
Paige Amidon, Ted Conant, Elyse 
Eisenberg, George Stoney and 
Laurie Young. For more info: ICAP, 
625 Broadway, New York NY 10012, 
(212) 533-9180. 

When you patronize our advertisers, 

please tell them you saw it in 




D O > O Z 


D ■< 


— Zi D 33 > : 
S < D O 2 p 


. OVil 





$ J" 



s > m d 


o — 








T1 Z 

i N 



6 CD 







i ^ 



uld like 































to be a memb 
idual $25/yr 







S. * -» 





?• "• -i 














of AIVF 

on $50/y 
der payab 








q- z! 










o < 
3 H 



v< —I 


CD — 




o m 


625 Broad 
New York, 









sive a yei 
_ first cla 
_ outside 




-» 8 " < 



3-* 2- -n 









mailing of Th< 
e U.S. anof Ca 





to Trie Independent. 
e Independent $30/y 
tnacte $30/yr 

-1 » 





by Mitchell W. Block 6 


by David W. Leitner 7 


Independent Regional Features — Part II 

by Bernard Timberg and Thomas Arnold 9 


by Wendy Udell 12 




by Susan Einigenburg, 

Former Administrator, ICAP 14 

COVER: Body Count. Dan Reeves and Jon L. Hilton. One of 
the winners of the 1981 D. Visions Video Awards Festival. 
Other winners include Alex Roshuk, Cecilia Condit, Gary Hill, 
Kathryn M. Kanehiro, John Sandborn, Kit Fitzgerald, Maxi 
Cohen, Megan Roberts, Peter D'Agostino, Pier Marton, 
Reynold Weidenaar. PHOTO: Christiane Siemers 

Staff Members: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; Wendy 
Lidell, Assistant Director; Sol Horwitz, Short Film Showcase 
Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film Showcase 
Administrative Assistant; Fran Piatt, Membership Developer; 
Odessa Flores Administrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Jane Morrison, President; Marc 
Weiss, Vice President; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, 
Treasurer (FIVF Board); Richard Schmiechen, Chair; Eric Breit- 
bart, Pablo Figueroa, Jessie Maple, Kitty Morgan, Judy Irola, 
Julio Rodriguez, Robert Richter; Lawrence Sapadin, Ex 


THE INDEPENDENT welcomes letters to the editor. All cor- 
respondence should be mailed to The Independent c/o FIVF, 
625 Broadway, 9th floor, New York NY 10012. Letters may be 
edited for length and clarity. 

NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF members receive first 
priority; others included as space permits. Send notices to 
THE INDEPENDENT c/o FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th floor, New 
York NY 10012. Free writers' guidelines available. For further 
information, call (212) 473-3400. 

The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New 
York NY 10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt service organization for the 
promotion of independent video and film. Publication of The Indepen- 
dent is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
Federal Agency. 

Subscription is included in membership in the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the trade association sister of 
FIVF. AIVF is a national association of independent producers, crafts- 
people and supporters of independent video and film. Together, FIVF 
and AIVF provide a broad range of educational and professional 
services and advocacy for Independents and the general public. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our members and sup- 
porters. If you have an idea for, or wish to contribute an article to, The 
Independent, contact the Editor at the above address. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect the opinion 
of the Board of Directors — they are as diverse as our member, staff 
and reader contributors. 

Editor Bill Jones 

Assistant Editor Fran Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block, David W. Leitner, John Rice, 

Odessa Flores John Greyson 

Staff Photographer Sol Rubin 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

Advertising Representative: Michelle Slater 


If three or more film/videomakers plan to enter the same 
foreign festival, FIVF can arrange a group shipment, thereby 
saving you money! What you must do is drop us a note telling 
us what festival you are planning to enter, and if we get 
enough interest in one, we will call you. 


More and more programmers have been coming into the AIVF 
office looking for independent films/tapes for their festivals, 
cable systems and exhibitions. Please send us material on 
your films and tapes so that we may make it available to in- 
terested parties. Send c/o Film/Tape File, AIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York, NY 10012. 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process changes of address, 
renewals and other changes in your mailing status. 
Don't wait until after you have moved to send AIVF your 
new address. Give us as much advance notice as possi- 
ble and include your current mailing label, and you'll 
keep on receiving THE INDEPENDENT without interrup- 



Lawrence Sapadin 


625 Broadway, 9th Floor 

New York, NY 10012 

Dear Lawrence Sapadin: 

I read with great interest your blurb recently in the INDEPEN- 
DENT suggesting the establishment of "regional structures." 
I am not sure exactly what kind of feedback I can provide 
since there is no way yet to know what functions of efforts to 
help out independents. However, since The Media Project is 
itself a regional organization (serving Idaho, Oregon, Alaska, 
Montana and Washington), I would worry about any duplica- 
tion of services already provided by us. I also, of course, am 
worried about stretching the dollars that are locally available 
to the media arts and which seem to be shrinking with each 
new edict that comes out of The White House. 

However, all paranoia and territoriality aside, we would like to 
be kept informed of your moves. I love reading THE INDEPEN- 
DENT and have a lot of affection for your organization. If you 
end up setting up a regional structure that is compatible with 
ours, then you can count on our support. 


Morrie Warshawski 
Executive Director 
The Media Project 
Portland, OR 


Michael S. Siporin 


Dear Michael: 

As an independent, I read your Questioning Cable Compensa- 

tion in the October INDEPENDENT with interest and apprecia- 
tion. Right away, I got a letter off to my distributor, Coe Film 
Associates, suggesting they push for higher fees for us. 

That is one step we can take for ameliorating the situation. 
Another is to request ICAP (with whom I also deal) to do the 
same thing. Still another is to contact the program officers of 
the cable networks and explain our situation; larger fees mean 
more matrial for them in the long run. 

I also think that the regional organizations which AIVF is con- 
sidering setting up could work toward joint statements and 
deal with local programmers on this question. 

If there are ways to help, I would be glad to. 

With best wishes. 

Sincerely yours, 

Jean Mudge 
Chicago, IL 


Mr. Michael S. Siporin 
Dear Michael: 

I read your article on page nine of the October INDEPENDENT 
issue and wholeheartedly support your criticism of price 
structure at HBO. 

The only way this can be counteracted would be if all in- 
dependents who have product would band together and sup- 
port each other. Just possibly this might be done through the 

Yours sincerely, 

Robin Lehman 
Opus Films, Ltd. 
New York, NY 


The AIVF/FIVF Board met on October 6, 1981. Complete 
minutes are available from AIVF. The highlights of the 
meeting were as follows: 

New Staff — There are some new faces in the AIVF/FIVF of- 
fices. John Greyson, an independent video producer, will be 
coordinating FIVF's media activities while continuing to write 
for FUSE magazine, where he has been an associate editor. 
Odessa Flores joins us, coming from WNYC-TV and Young 
Filmakers foundation. Heading the National Endowment's 
Short Film Showcase is Sol Horwitz, a veteran distributor who 
most recently served as film buyer for the Walter Reade 
Organization, Loews and Cinema 5. 

IFP/FIVF Financing Seminar was a success. Some Board 
members expressed an interest in conducting workshops 
rather than large seminars. 

WINDOW Conference was held at AIVF on September 27, 
1981. WINDOW is the tentative name for what may become an 
independent satellite network. The moving forces have been a 
group of producers from the Independent Film and Video 
Distribution Center (IFVDC) in Colorado and Public Interest 
Video Network (PIVN) in Washington DC. Wendy Lidell, AIVF 
Assistant Director, is one of the two New York representatives 
on the steering committee. 

Festival Bureau head Wendy Lidell presented the Board with a 
proposal for the establishment of independent review panels 
to pre-select films and tapes for submission to foreign 

festivals which are unable to have a festival representative in 
the US. The matter was tabled for study by the Board. 

WNET rescheduled the tape Color by producer Warrington 
Hudlin from the general schedule in November to Black 
History Month on the ground that the tape was too controver- 
sial, according to Hudlin, who described his situation to the 
Board. AIVF will investigate the matter upon receipt of a copy 
of a letter Hudlin is sending to Metropolitan Division head H. 
Carl McCall. 

PATCO letter of support was approved by the Board. 

Los Angeles Office for AIVF was discussed. The 
Association's regional representative, Peter Belsito, in New 
York for the Independent Feature Project (IFP) Market, ex- 
pressed his willingness to staff an office to represent AIVF on 
a more formal part-time basis. A committee was formed to 
develop the idea. 

CPB Scriptwriting Grant is attached to a professionally unac- 
ceptable contract. AIVF has received calls from San Francisco 
Bay Area and New York area grant recipients seeking to 
organize a collective response to the draft agreement. AIVF 
will coordinate efforts and contact the Writers Guild for addi- 
tional support. 

Student Membership Rate was approved by the Board. 
Students will be able to join AIVF as non-voting members for 
$15 upon proof of student status. 

The Case of the Legless Veteran, James Kutcher 


"BECAUSE they can't film the future, documentarians con- 
cerned about the erosion of civil liberties devote a great deal 
of attention to the McCarthy era. Among the best of their ef- 
forts is Howard Petrick's The Case of the Legless Veteran: 
James Kutcher. The film relates an incident that was possibly 
the most egregious example of McCarthyism's witchhunting, 
one that demonstrated how it could harm ordinary citizens no 
less than celebrated victims like Alger Hiss and the 
Hollywood Ten. 

Kutcher was a $39-a-week clerk at the Veterans Administration 
who was fired in 1948 when the U.S. Attorney General put the 
Socialist Workers party on his "subversive list." Kutcher, a 
mild, shy man, was proud to be a party member. It was for that 
right, he said, that he had fought in Italy, where he lost his 
legs. He decided to fight the Federal Employee Loyaity Pro- 
gram. Ten years later, with help from the party and other sym- 
pathizers, and after the Government had stooped low enough 
to revoke Kutcher's veteran's pension, he won." 

Seth Cagin, Soho News 

September 29, 1981 

Wendy Udell 


625 Broadway, 9th Floor 

New York, New York 10012 

Dear Wendy, 

Enclosed is a copy of the letter that I received from Russell 
James at PBS, and all of the reviews that I have on the film so 

I talked with Dave Davis tonight and he thought that I should 
mount a campaign against PBS to try and get them to recon- 
sider broadcasting the film. He outlined the things that he 
went through with "Song of the Canary" and it sounded like a 
good approach to me. I do feel that I can still get the film on 
many PBS stations without going through Washington, and 
my distributor feels that we have a good chance on cable now 
that PBS is out of the way. (PBS had first right of broadcast 
since I received funding from NEH — which I haven't heard 
from also) 

Since I don't think that the letter from PBS is much more than 
an excuse for not wanting to broadcast a political film which 
might upset the Reagan administration I would be willing to 
confront them on principle. Feel free to use the letter in any 
way that might help educate other filmmaers to what is going 
on since it's better to fight against this kind of nonsense in 
numbers and not let it continue if we can help it. I will be glad 
to work with FIVF and or any other filmmakers who are having 
problems with PBS. 

Howard Petrick 

A screening of Howard Petrick's THE CASE OF THE LEGLESS 
VETERAN will take place at AIVF on March 9th. Come and 
decide for yourself. 

August 5, 1981 

Mr. Howard Petrick 


Mass Productions 

110 First Street 

San Francisco, Ca. 94105. 

Dear Mr. Petrick: 

Thank you for sending THE CASE OF THE LEGLESS 
VETERAN: JAMES KUTCHER to us. It was screened by the 
programming staff and, unfortunately, it was not recommended 
for distribution. 

The story of James Kutcher is a fascinating one and we 
wished that you focused the entire program on his history. 
Though there were other factors which contributed to Mr. Kut- 
cher's condition, and you tell us what they were, they were not 
directly related to the issue of the "Legless Veteran." While 
the other issues that were raised, such as the history of the 
Socialist Workers Party, American labor unions after World 
War II and McCarthyism are important, the amount of time 
devoted to such issues eventually became detrimental to the 
main story of the documentary — James Kutcher's ordeal. By 
attempting to encompass the whole social history of the era 
as part of James Kutcher's story, it resulted in a documentary 
that lacked focus and was unable to explore the social issues 
in the depth that they deserve. At times the film was fragmen- 
tary and difficult to follow chronologically. 

You might wish to check with local public television stations 
or the regional networks to elicit their interest in your project. 
A list of regional networks is enclosed. 

Thank you for sending THE CASE OF THE LEGLESS 
VETERAN: JAMES KUTCHER to us. Sorry that we could not 
be more encouraging. Your cassette has been returned to you 
under separate cover. 


Russell A. James 


Arts & Humanities Programming 



by Mitchell W. Block 

The Academy Awards: Short Films and Documentaries 

The deadline is December 31 for filing the application 
and getting the print in. The Academy is located at 8949 
Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills CA 90211. Short films 
must be less than 30 minutes in running time. Live ac- 
tion and animated films must first be exhibited within 
two years of completion date, in a commercial motion 
picture theatre in Los Angeles County, for a paid 
playdate of seven consecutive days between January 1, 
1981 and midnight, December 31, 1981. Prior exhibition 
outside Los Angeles County subsequent to January 1, 
1980 in a commercial motion picture theatre will dis- 
qualify a film. There are other technical rules that 
should be cleared with the Academy. Students who 
enter their film in this competition may not subsequent- 
ly enter the same film in the student Academy Award 
competition. Films entered in last year's student 
Academy Aard competition may not be entered in this 

Documentary films must qualify by being in 35mm or 
having run in a IFFPA approved film festival. The rules 
for documentaries are more complicated than the rules 
for short live action and animated films, and the film- 
maker would be well advised to obtain copies of the 
rules from the Academy. 

The Los Angeles International Film Exposition 

The deadline for the 1981 FILMEX is December 1, 1981. 
Super-8mm, 16mm and 35mm short films, both live ac- 
tion and animation, are invited. FILMEX is one of the 

best film festivals in the world. It is non-competitive 
and accredited by the IFFPA.? Documentaries screened 
here are eligible for Academy Award consideration, 
assuming the other rules are met in 16mm! Since 
FILMEX does not give prizes it does not require an 
entry fee (other than return shipping costs of films not 
accepted) and it programs more documentaries than 
any other IFFPA-accredited festival in the world. Last 
year over 50 hours of documentaries and shorts were 
programmed. Write FILMEX, 6525 Sunset Boulevard, 
Hollywood CA 90028, (213) 469-9400 for more informa- 

The Midwest Film Conference 

Deadlines for the Midwest Film Conference will be past 
by the time this publication gets to you, but they might 
consider late entries. Their official deadline is October 
15. This outstanding educational festival charges a 
modest entry fee of from $15-$50 per film, depending on 
length. It is an excellent festival for finding non- 
theatrical distributor or educational buyers. It programs 
outstanding shorts and documentaries, and will pre- 
view on videotape. It is non-competitive, attracting 
about 1,500 buyers, filmmakers, viewers and distri- 
butors during its three-day run, February 12-14. For ad- 
ditional information contact the Conference at P.O. Box 
1665, Evanston IL 60204, (312) 869-0600. 

Avoid the Chicago International Film Festival because 
of its high cost and questionable judging and audience 
in terms of sales or work. 

If any AIVF members need more festival information, 
please feel free to contact Mitchell W. Block, c/o Direct 
Cinema Limited, P.O. Box 69589, Los Angeles CA 
90069, (213)656-4700. 

Reprinted by permission from 

University Film Association: Fall Issue Digest. 









NEW YORK, N.Y 10003 • (212) 228-4024 

-Complete Animation 

-Special Effects 
-Title Design 
-Computerized Oxberry 

with Image Expander 

to Independents 

38 East 20 Street 
New York NY 10003 

Film Planning Associates 



years of award winning films 



by David W. Leitner 

In last month's column, I made passing reference to a panel discussion 
of the prospects for high-definition television, sponsored last 
September by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. 
With digital television technology around the corner, the subject is 
most compelling. A cascade of technical advances and an ever- 
receptive marketplace are setting the stage for a new era of image 
gathering, processing, distribution and display. What follows, in brief, 
is a sketch of television technology up to the present and a synopsis of 
the SMPTE meeting, with an eye towards what all this portends for 
future tape and film production. 

Assembled at CBS Studio 42 on- West 57th Street were head 
research and development personnel from CBS, RCA (which 
owns NBC), and NHK (Japanese Broadcasting). The FCC was 
represented by its chief scientist. Even Hollywood played a 
role, contributing a high-powered producer and its leading 
iconoclast and futurist, director Francis Coppola. With an 
audience of close to 500, peppered with VIPs, the atmosphere 
crackled with anticipation and genuine excitement. That night 
we glimpsed, perhaps, the future of moving images: a single, 
all-electronic, digital medium that would consign film and 
video as we know it to the museum shelf. 

Before I report the highlights of the meeting, some history is 
in order: The 1920s saw several successful American attempts 
at converting images into electronic signals and transmitting 
them by radio frequency to distant locations. Through the 
next decade, competition to develop a commercially feasible 
system was intense. In 1941 RCA eclipsed General Electric, 
Philco, Zenith and others by mounting its first commercial 
programming, a crude news and game show format that was 
received by a select few in the New York metropolitan area. 

The politically powerful radio industry, terrified by television, 
muscled the FCC into shutting down NBC-TV's transmissions, 
but television interests regrouped and fought back. A commis- 
sion formed of industry pioneers, the National Television 
System Committee, recommended a standard of 525 
horizontally-scanned lines and 30 frames per second for 
monochrome television — little different from the fledgling 
RCA system. The FCC formally adopted these standards and 
assigned a portion of the radio frequency spectrum to com- 
mercial television transmission. 

Television simmered on a back burner during the war years, as 
national energies were bound up in other, more urgent efforts. 
The war's end, however, focused fresh attention on the 
medium's commercial possibilities, and by 1948 over 100 
transmitters were active across the country. CBS and Zenith, 
in spite of this fail accompli, resisted the adopted standards, 
arguing for a wider radio frequency bandwidth per channel — 
a specification that' would have permitted more (i.e. finer) im- 
age information to be broadcast in achieving higher definition. 
RCA, GE and Philco, nevertheless, were eager to implement 
the designated standards, and by the end of the decade 
millions of TV sets had been built and marketed. 

A defiant CBS stuck to its guns and bent its considerable 
resources towards the development of an alternative: a full- 
color system based on a spinning disc which was incompatible 
with that featuring the horizontally-scanning electron beam. So 
impressed was the FCC that it approved the CBS color system, 
rejecting the frantic attempts of RCA to convert its 
monochrome signal to color. This decision soon came to be 


regarded as unwise, since millions of extant black-and-white 
receivers would have been rendered obsolete upon the onset 
of color broadcasting. When RCA eventually demonstrated a 
method of coding color information into what remained 
basically a black-and-white signal, the FCC reversed its deci- 
sion, and in 1953, upon recommendation of the reconvened 
National Television System Committee, it adopted the system 
still in use today. 

The Current NTSC 525-line color system, created out of the 
rough-and-tumble of capitalist enterprise, has been highly 
successful in encouraging broadcasters and the public alike 
to convert from monochrome to color. However, in modifying 
a black-and-white signal to carry color information, the design 
of a signal tailored specifically for color transmission and 
signal processing was thwarted. Meanwhile, the British and 
the continental Europeans were late in establishing their 
broadcast standards; different resources and requirements 
determined a 625-line, 25 frames-per-second system that is in- 
compatible with our own. 

To address these realities, SMPTE and others are actively 
designing digital television systems that will retain conven- 
tional 525- and 625-line-type receivers, yet allow the advan- 
tages of digital signal processing. If SMPTE and the European 
Broadcasting Union can agree on worldwide digital standardi- 
zation, then conversion between the competing systems will 
be greatly facilitated. That said, we can put the recent SMPTE 
panel discussion of high-definition television into perspective 
as we review its highlights. 

Joseph Flaherty, CBS Vice President of Engineering and 
Development, opened discussion by declaring that the oppor- 
tunity was ripe to "start over where television began" years 
ago. Explaining the need to develop high-definition television, 
he suggested that if the public had known it wanted television 
in the first place, it would have asked for it. Kerns Powers, 
Flaherty's counterpart at RCA, offered the receiver manufac- 
turer's point of view. He felt that substantial improvements 
were in store for conventional "low-resolution" television, 
since current signal bandwidths are not fully utilized. He 
predicted that sophisticated enhancement techniques that 
eliminate color "cross-talk" and suppress the appearance of 
scan lines, now available to studios as costly "black boxes", 
will be reduced in size and integrated into standard receiver 
circuitry by the decade's end. Powers concluded that any 
change in standards (e.g., aspect-ratio) will require a sizable 
investment on the part of the manufacturer, and that com- 
patibility with present standards would be desirable. 
Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) was represented in the 
person of Dr. Masao Sugimoto. He reported that NHK, Sony, 
et. al. have poured millions of dollars into basic research, and 
he produced slides of a prototype color high-definition 
system: camera, requisite signal processing equipment, and 
wide-screen monitor in use at a stadium sporting event. His 
presentation detailed the extensive psychophysical research 
that had been undertaken by NHK before specifying their 
system technically. In an effort to determine optimal resolu- 
tion and aspect ratio, NHK collected and analyzed the reac- 
tions of test subjects to video monitors of varied shapes, 
displaying up to 2,000 horizontally scanned lines. (Ordinary 
people consulted in the process of shaping a technical 
medium ... a first?) 

The end result, by several estimates, is virtually equivalent in 
resolution to a 35mm release print. The system boasts 1125 
lines, 60 fields interlaced 2:1 to form 30 frames, an aspect 
ratio of 1.66, high-fidelity stereo sound, and a bandwidth of 20 
MHz, which can be broadcast. The luminance (brightness) and 
chroma (hue and saturation) components of the signal would 

be digitized and sent seperately, instead of interwoven in a 
complicated fashion as is the case of the analog NTSC 
standard. NHK has also developed a laser flying-spot scanner 
telecine for transferring 70mm film to high-definition tele- 
vision and is presently perfecting a recording device that 
employs a spinning magnetic disc instead of tape. 

This system is not compatible with any current standard. An 
SMPTE study group, the BBC and NHK have all concluded 
that high-definition television cannot be made compatible 
with existing standards if the advantages of high definition 
are to be exploited. In thise sense, we are starting over; and 
Dr. Sugimoto, seizing an opportune moment, called for world 
standardization of high-definition television. If the past is any 
indication, it's going to be an uphill battle at best. 

While the grave official from the FCC expressed doubt that 
sufficient bandwidth remained for new high-definition broad- 
cast channels and spoke forebodingly of "the era of the wired 
nation" ushered in by cable and fiber optics technologies, 
Francis Coppola and producer Glen Larson (Sheriff Lobo, 
Quincy) waxed gleeful over the possibilities of "electronic 
cinematography." Coppola shared with the audience his 
scheme for storyboarding and pre-editing an entire feature on 
tape prior to actual production, using videotapes of actors 
rehearsing their lines, sketches from videodisc "framestore", 
and rough animation. As production shots were electronically 
recorded, he would drop them into place by calling them up as 
needed from tape, disc or maybe someday, computer bubble 
memory. Electronic images would be instantly shunted 
anywhere within a huge complex, processed, displayed or 
"mixed" much like sound. Coppola likens his concept to the 
wire armature of the sculptor, which is first twisted into rough 
shape, then fleshed out with clay. He stated, "There is no 
future except for the electronic medium." 

What's this, a film person cheering on the demise of motion 
pictures? Clearly, we are standing at a crossroads. Some 
serious thought ought to be channelled towards the future of 
moving images, particularly on the part of independent pro- 
ducers, artists and the citizenry-at-large — the very groups 
that are largely disenfranchised from technical decision- 
making. Television and motion pictures have permeated our 
culture for the better part of this century; they affect our lives 
and livelihoods profoundly; certainly we know enough at this 
point to "ask for it". Most would agree that wide-screen high- 
definition television is desirable, but what are the conse- 
quences? Will we suddenly dismantle our 40-year-old broad- 
cast system in favor of the new technology? Will we maintain 
two parallel systems, perhaps one broadcast, one cable? Will 
theaters forgo film prints for large-scale high-definition 
display, sounding the death knell for motion picture 
laboratories? How will independent production fare? Will such 
a system service poor as well as rich? Will it become an ex- 
clusive plaything of the developed nations? 

Why aren't university psychology departments engaged by the 
government in studying the psychophysical dimensions of 
wide-screen shapes and heightened resolution? (Certainly 
there is no dearth of college defense contracts.) Why aren't 
social scientists projecting the possible changes such an in- 
novation will work on our model McLuhanesque society? The 
Laissez-faire of the marketplace notwithstanding, forward- 
thinking individuals engaged in video and film production 
must make an effort to influence the evolution of their media. 
The future ought not to rest solely in the hands of corporate 

Whither moving images? 


Independent Regional Features— 


by Bernard Timberg and Thomas Arnold 


We reached Penny Allen in New York at the end of August, 
1981, where she was just picking up an answer print of her 
second feature. She had produced her first feature, Property, 
in Portland, Oregon. That film grew out of an interest in land 
use in a low-income area of Portland and a campaign by 
tenants to control their rents and living conditions by getting 
together to buy the Victorian houses they lived in. Made from 
1977 through 1978, Property is a satiric look at a real situation 
Allen had been involved in (she was a major organizer of the 
group), and all the actors and crew members worked for a 
deferred percentage of future income from the film. With a 
budget of $25,000, Property cost less to make than any of the 
other films described in this article and was able to earn back 
its costs. Starting in 1979, Allen took the film to the Utah/U.S. 
Film Festival and the American Mavericks Festival, then invita- 
tional film festivals in Portugal, Rotterdam and Florence. For 
her next feature (Paydirt, completed this year), Allen worked 
with one of the same actresses, the same Portland Cine- 
matographer/editor (Eric Edwards), and a straight dramatic 
theme. She and associate producer Jack Yost raised money 
for Paydirt on a limited partnership basis: thirteen investors 
who put money into a film budgeted at $170,000. The move 
from nonprofit organization (West Bank Productions) to 
limited partnership profit organization (Paydirt Productions) is 
an example of the kind of tactical financing decision mention- 
ed earlier. One senses from talking to Allen that it will not af- 
fect the kind of film and filmmaking she is interested in doing. 

Allen's first film involved local talent and support, a political 
and social theme people cared about and an important con- 
tribution of money ($15,000) from outside the area. She talked 
to us about how that film came to be made. 


PA: Property came directly out of the community ex- 
perience. It had to do with comprehensive land use planning 
in the state of Oregon which started in 1975, and I was in- 
volved in my neighborhood comprehensive land use plan. It 
was a fascinating experience for me and the only democratic 
experience I've ever had in this country. Then a particular 
event started happening in our neighborhood — gentrifica- 

A block that contained ten rather derelict houses went on the 
market for a very small price. I organized a bunch of people, 
first people living on the block and then others in the 
neighborhood, to try to buy the block so that it would no 
longer be absentee-owned. In other words it was a transfer of 
ownership: it would go into the people's hands, rather than 
the hands of absentee landlords. It was a very complicated 
process that lasted about a year, and lots of people came and 

went through that group. After it was done, in '77, we decided 
to make the movie Property (after Eric Edwards, a 
cinematographerleditor who lived in Allen's neighborhood, 
joined the project). It was finished in '78. Because of my 
theatrical experience, it's not simply a dry movie. I turned it 
into a satire and comedy. 

Q: Did you use people from your block? 

PA: No, I used performers. I'm not that grassroots. All the 
people in the movie are either actors or performing people of 
one sort or another: musicians or singers, and a couple of 
comics. But I spent a lot of time and videotape trying to 
familiarize them with the real situation, and they became quite 
interested in it. The "real" people spent a lot of time with the 
movie people. It was very organic. 

Q: Was it financed by the same people who got together to 
save the block? 

PA: No. Those people were mostly poor. They didn't have 
the money to do something like that. 

Q: You had said that some outside people also gave you 
money to buy the houses? 

PA: Top priority to buy the houses went to people on the 
block, and second priority were people in the neighborhood. 
Most of them were in for $500 to $1000. An attorney in New 
York who heard about what we were doing and had been in- 
terested in things like that in the South Bronx, renters in 
apartment buildings becoming owners, sent me $15,000 to 
facilitate the neighborhood project. It was the first chunk of 
money that began flowing. After the whole thing was secured 
and we didn't need his money any more, I sent it back to him 
with a very long letter enclosed, saying that I wanted to make 
a movie about all the stuff that I had learned from this. And he 
sent it back as seed money for the movie. The movie actually 
didn't cost too much more than that: only $25,000. 

Q: How long was it? 

PA: It's a feature film. 

Q: So that was basically lab costs. 

PA: Yes. It was done by the seat of the pants, to say the 

Q: Performers weren't paid? 

PA: A film organization was able to obtain a CETA grant 
which paid some of the actors, but not all. They have been 
paid since then, because the film is a real worker-owned prod- 
uct. People earned points by the length of time they worked 
on the film, so the money that Property has earned has been 
divided that way. People receive money from it all the time. 



Q: Are you involved in distributing Property? 

PA: It has a distributor in New York called Cinema Perspec- 
tive, and right now it's in a package of independent films that 
are being marketed to cable. I sometimes get involved in 
distribution of it in my region. It's played commercially three 
times in Portland, and I've been involved with that. I haven't 
given that up, because it's almost like a community event. 

Q: When you say three, that's three special showings? 

PA: Three different commercial runs in theaters. Three dif- 
ferent summers, so far. And it will be playing in Eugene, 
Oregon, in a couple of weeks for the first time, commercially 
in a theater. I'll be involved with that, too. I also travel with the 
film. It was in a lot of foreign film festivals. 

Q: How did you do that? We've heard about some of the 
problems in just raising the money to go to a foreign film 

PA: They invite you. They pay your way. 

Q: Which, for example? 

PA: Rotterdam, and the Portugal film festival. The film was 
really well liked in Portugal and in Italy also, which I thought 
was interesting. I presume it has a lot to do with its subject 
matter, since the Left was interested in it. It showed at the 
Florence film festival in 1979, which was an exciting event. I 
guess it was one of the first festivals outside the United 
States of America independent cinema, the first time the new 
movement was recognized in Europe. 

Q: They knew about the film through a print that you had 
sent in advance to the festival? 

PA: No, the Florence Film Festival had a selection commit- 
tee. They came to New York, and Marc Weiss oversaw the 
gathering of films for them to look at. Then they picked 
something like 18 American films and had a festival. I know it 
is very costly to do that sort of thing if there isn't hospitality 
from the festival, and Cannes is incredibly expensive. I'm just 
now finishing my second film, a long way away from the Can- 
nes film festival, and so it's hard to say whether or not I will be 
interested in going to Cannes. We'll have to see what happens 
between now and then. 

Q: How long did the actual filmmaking process take? 

PA: It was almost exactly a year until we had our preview in 

Q: It sounds like you had a lot of back-up for the film in the 
neighborhood project you'd been working on for a long time. 

PA: Yes, but that was real life. From the time I said "Let's 
make a film" and started working on a script, it was a year. 


Q: Do you want to talk about the differences between your 
first and second film and their connections to the local com- 

PA: In Portland Property was something of a conversation 
with my community. It is an anthropological document in 
which people take positions on one side or the other. They 
usually have a strong opinion, which is nice. I had strong opin- 
ions on it and still do. It's also been a very interesting event in 
the lives of the people who are in it. For some of them it 
represented the beginning of a larger-scale performing career. 
Originally I started out to do a trilogy. Property was about a 
kind of people, and a squeeze on a kind of people, and the end 
of a radical political era, and also about inner-city housing in a 
less-than-gigantic city. 


PA: It takes a lot of people to make a movie, and the larger 
and more ambitious the concept, the more people it takes. 
Tasks need to be accomplished, and unless somebody just 
hands you $200,000 for a movie, you have to raise it. When you 
first start out it's like trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge: you're 
not selling anything, right? Air. If you occupy your time doing 
that, you're certainly not going to be writing a script or 
shooting a movie. It takes more than one person, unless you 
have all the time in the world, like three or four years. It also 
tires your brain out. I think you can only spend so much time 
using your brain at full force every day before it falls apart. 

Q: How long have you yourself lived in the Portland area? 

PA: I was born there. I lived there until I went away to 
school, then I was gone for ten or twelve years. I lived in New 
York and Paris and Idaho. Then I decided to move back to 
Portland, by choice, and stayed because I still like it, although 
I do spend quite a bit of time elsewhere. I've been in New York 
now for about two months. 

Q: Were you able to work full time on both films, or were you 
forced to find other income? 

PA: Oh, I always worked full time on them. I don't think that I 
would have been able to get them done otherwise. 


Q: What are the advantages or disadvantages of working out 
of Portland as opposed to a place like New York or Los 

PA: There are always equipment disadvantages — equip- 
ment's not there. Maybe I won't be shooting in Portland — I 
don't really know where I'll be shooting — but all the stuff 
that you do with a lab during the editing process, I won't be 
able to do this time. And of course there's always an incon- 
venience in finding people to work with. There is no editor in 
Portland that I could collaborate with, so I'm going to have to 
find that person somewhere along the way. That's a missing 
link in our team. 

Q: How do you go about doing that? 

PA: I don't know, actually. I never go about looking for 
anybody. They just appear. You just wait. Jack, the person 
who raised the money for Paydirt, just appeared. That seems 
to be what happens in my life. I bet that I'll meet an editor 
within the next year that I end up working with. It has to hap- 

If I were working in Portland with a high budget, and I wanted 
somebody who cost a lot and lived in Los Angeles, I'd have to 
shoot them there. So far I write for the people in the film, and I 
don't really want anyone else. It's not like I've settled for them 
— it's them I wanted, so it hasn't been a problem. But you can 
never tell how you're going to develop or what's going to hap- 
pen or who I may fixate on or want in my next film. 

The advantages are that it's a very supportive community, a 
terrific artistic community, and it's exciting to work with peo- 
ple for whom this project is the biggest thing ever to come 
down the pike. They put their heart and soul into it. they give 
you their all. I don't know if you'd run into that in New York or 
Los Angeles. I doubt it. 

Q: And you'd never be able to do it on the budget you've 
been talking about. 

PA: Oh no, not at all. First of all there's no union in Portland. 
There's no Screen Actors' Guild. But people do end up owning 
the film. The general partnership, 50% of the film, is owned in 
various percentages by everybody who worked on it, so they 
all benefit. 



Ross Spears, who spent five years with associates Jude 
Cassidy and Anthony Forma making the film Agee, also worked 
out of a regional base with significant periods of time in New 
York and significant assistance from the New York film com- 
munity. Having done graduate work in film at Cal Arts in Los 
Angeles in 1972-73, Spears returned to his home town of 
Johnson City, Tennessee (population 30,000), because "I 
didn't know what to make films about California. . .I had to 
make films about what I knew, both emotionally and intellec- 
tually." He had done a script on James Agee for his Master's 
thesis at Cal Arts, and after returning to Johnson City he 
started the James Agee Film Project to raise funds for a film 
on Agee. 

Along the way the project also sponsored activities related to 
film and photography in the region. With CETA support, the 
James Agee Film Project started a once-a-week classic film 
series, which is still going, brought in visiting filmmakers (in- 
cluding Hilary Harris and a camera operator who had worked 
on Harlan County USA), and initiated a project to dig up old 
photographs of the area for an annual photographic exhibi- 
tion. But the main purpose of the project was to produce the 

Though they got small grants from the Tennessee Bicen- 
tennial Commission, the Knoxville Arts Commission and state 
arts agencies, Spears and Cassidy spent five years in 
Tennessee and New York working on various non-film jobs, 
shooting the Agee film in pieces and putting together the 
funding for the film. The third member of the team, Anthony 
Forma, who had been at Cal Arts as an undergraduate when 
Spears was a graduate student there, was principal cinema- 
tographer/editor for the project. He joined with Spears and 
Cassidy for all the major shoots and editing sessions while 
pursuing his own filmmaking, activities in New York. 

We print here some of Cassidy's thoughts on the long period 
Agee was in the making and the subsequent year she spent 
learning how to distribute it. 


JC: I often think that we were very lucky in getting that first 
grant in Tennessee, where there still was extremely little 
competition. We have lots of friends in New York who are fine 
filmmakers but could not get that first grant because the 
competition is so fierce. An arts teacher in Johnson City 
became interested — a woman who knew Ross's family 
before him. It's a very small town, and people know people, 
and Ross had always been looked well upon. She had some 
money to give away, and it came at just the right time. In New 
York there wouldn't have been anybody like that. 

All the things we did [the other James Agee Film Project 
activities] create community support and recognition that 
makes us visible and shows that we're serious and committed 
to the community. 

FINANCING QUESTION: Have you ever figured out what 
Agee cost? 

JC: No. It was done in five years, and also you would have to 
define what cost means. Nobody was paid, the actors worked 
for free, and we were lent almost everything. The equipment 
was extremely cheap. If we had to rent from F. and B. Ceco, 
normal rentals, we couldn't have done it. MERC [Media Equip- 

ment Resource Center] in New York was wonderful. They have 
a system of giving you editing rental space at half the going 
rate. The spaces are difficult to get, and you have to reserve 
them in advance. You get them f or about a month, so what we 
would do is just edit 24 hours a day- as long as we could stay 
awake. We didn't pay full price for anything — only film, 
development, prints and transfer of sound. So we've never 
been able to come up with an idea of how much it cost, much 
less what it didn't cost. I've heard estimates from $40,000 to 

Ross was the one person who carried through the whole time 
and worked on it and only it. When Ross wasn't actually work- 
ing on the film he was fundraising or doing other work so he 
could do that film. That was the only thing he was interested 
in. All of his ego, creative energies and physical labors were 
directed toward it. 

JC: We all lived in a big old house right around the corner 
from where Agee was born. We lived together and cooked 
together and ate baloney sandwiches and peanut butter, so it 
was very, very cheap. The house cost around $50 for the 

In a town like Knoxville we had front page pictures and stories 
about us. It was a big event, so people were very willing to 
chip in and help out. The University of Tennessee people were 
wonderful about giving us things. They had, for the South, a 
very good drama department, and actors and actresses from 
there volunteered. The costume department gave us all those 
old costumes. Ross's aunt was a florist, and she donated all 
the thousands of flowers that were used in the funeral scene. 

People on the crew spent several weeks in preproduction go- 
ing around to different stores in the town, like antique shops, 
and asking if we could borrow things. We could give them 
credit in the titles and thank them in the publicity. You know 
that antique toy horse that the little boy rides on, and the 
quilts? They were brought in. There was a hairdresser and 
makeup person who volunteered. Our biggest expense was 
$80 to rent a casket — they wouldn't donate that, but actually 
I think it was a real bargain. 


Q: What are your feelings about spending a year distributing 

JC: I'm really glad that we did it ourselves. There were 
several distribution companies who wanted it but you get 
such a small percentage, about 15% of the gross receipts. We 
needed more money to make our next film [on the TVA] and 
didn't know if we would get funding for that. We were hoping 
that it would be easier — that people would see Agee and be 
willing to give us some money. But we didn't know. We 
couldn't afford to give up. 

Q: So despite all the work, you think it's been worthwhile? 

JC: I don't think I'll do it again, although I might — we'll cross 
that bridge when we come to it. We followed what's become 
known as the New Day model for distribution. It worked well for 
us. I got to meet all kinds of people through asking for help, 
making the phone calls, having a booth at the American Film 
Festival and standing there shaking hands, so it created a very 
good network that will always be there. 



by Wendy Udell 

A diverse group of independent film and video producers have 
recently joined together to develop an alternative program- 
ming network dedicated to the delivery of independently- 
produced media. As of the time of this writing, no formal 
structures have yet been set down for the WINDOW Network, 
but independent film and videomakers across the country are 
being called together to offer their input, discuss their needs, 
and commit themselves to some level of participation. 

These producers are quickly realizing that the original 
promises of unlimited channel capacity and vast new 
audiences generated by cable and satellite are rapidly 
disintegrating into a rerun of last season's network con- 

Hundreds of independent film and video producers gathered 
at New York's Lincoln Center on October 9th to hear what's 
new in cable at New Medium's conference on Channelling the 
Future. We were treated/subjected to promotional reels from 
most of the national pay TV services and several basic cable 
networks. The homogeneity of the collection was indication 
enough for many people of who was really channelling the 
future. But the conclusive moment of truth finally came when 
Kin Spencer of the Public Interest Video Network, sitting on 
the afternoon panel, asked how many producers saw a place 
for their work among those networks. Four people in Alice 
Tully Hall (capacity: 1100) raised their hands. 

Thirty-two percent of all cable systems are owned by broad- 
casters. The overwhelming number of administrators and pro- 
gramming people in cable come out of broadcasting, and 
every week we read of yet another merger among the ever 
fewer companies in the cable industry. 

All this comes on the coattails of the great expectations that 
were supposed to accompany the "wired nation" and satellite 
technology: greater diversity, smaller specialized audiences, 
and an insatiable need for more programming. It hasn't hap- 
pened and it doesn't seem like it's ever going to. 

In an effort to investigate alternative, and presumably more 
viable, ways to deliver their programs to viewers, more than 
twenty assorted producers and media activists gathered at 
KBDI-TV, public television's "maverick" station in Boulder, 
Colorado, in late August. Out of what was humbly intended as 
little more than a meeting of minds grew a serious commit- 
ment to forming a national satellite distribution network com- 
posed and controlled by independent producers. 

The network, tentatively dubbed WINDOW, elected an interim 
steering committee, which is concentrating its efforts in four 
distinct yet interactive areas: Programming — Ted Krichels 
(KBDI, Boulder) and Fabrice Florin (Videowest, San 
Francisco); Administration — John Schwartz (KBDI, Boulder); 
Marketing — Jeff Nemerovski (Video-west, San Francisco) and 
Tom Weinberg (Image Union, Chicago); Production — Kim 
Spencer (PIVN, Washington DC) and Dana Atchley (Network 
TV, Colorado); and Counsel — Richard Wyde (Los Angeles). 

The Boulder conference participants submitted and discussed 
papers on such topics as: the current and projected availabili- 
ty of satellite transponders — who they can reach and how 
much they cost; and models for generating revenue — pay TV, 
advertising support, and non-profit public TV. But to those of 


us who joined the conference's third day via telephone and 
slow-scan video links at the NYU Center for Interactive Tele- 
vision, it was clear that the motivating force behind the en- 
thusiasm for the project was the success of an experiment in 
live television produced by the group the previous day. The 
Boulder Video Barbecue was an amalgam of live sequences 
shot grillside (originating in KBDI's parking lot) intercut with 
canned segments from the libraries of participant producers. 
A commitment to some kind of live television was born, and a 
second meeting was set for New York City. 

Forty-five media-makers attended the September 27th meeting 
at AlVF's office in New York, and the discussion moved to its 
next complicated level. In Boulder the problem was clearly 
articulated: independent producers simply have inadequate 
access to audiences at a time when access technologies are 
expanding at a staggering rate. Everyone could agree on that, 
and the solution seemed to suggest itself — an independent 
network with its own transponder. Armed with that kind of 
consensus, and an array of structural and financial schemes 
to explore, the Boulder conclave pushed the limits of blue sky 
potentiality. That's the best way to start. But think about it for 
a few weeks, come to New York City, and learn that once 
again "every solution creates its own problems". 

How do independent producers maintain their integrity and 
operate as part of a network? Should the network be a com- 
mon carrier or a producers' cooperative? Will system 
operators or viewers "buy" a democratic and unselective ser- 
vice of that nature? How are programming selections to be 
made while still maintaining democratic accountability to con- 
stituent producers? To what extent can we or do we rely on 
marketplace forces, and how will this affect programming? 
How much rock and roll will there be, how much politics, and 
how do we get paid for it? 

These questions inevitably prompted a broad range of 
responses. Many people left the New York meeting feeling 
that no consensus could be reached on these issues. This is 
very possibly true. The eventual participants of WINDOW will 
self-select as the dialogue continues and a particular modus 
operandi emerges as the most feasible. 

Although the network organizers have had to weather a bar- 
rage of criticism regarding their lack of organization, I think it 
is significant that they chose to bring the community of pro- 
ducers in at WINDOW'S inception, rather than wait and pre- 
sent a fully formulated and irrevocable structure later on. 

There was also an experiment in programming in New York. 
This is a Test ran for two hours on Manhattan Cable's Channel 
10. It was pulled together at an amazing rate by Tom 
Weinberg, and featured Mitchell Kriegman in specially- 
produced segments wrapped around excerpts from works 
submitted by video producers including Juan Downey, Dee 
Dee Halleck, Maxi Cohen, Videowest, PIVN and Media Bus; 
amont others. The most exciting moment for many was when 
we realized that the concert footage of the Rolling Stones we 
were watching was pirated out of Philadelphia's Veterans' 
Stadium a mere thirty hours before, by a producer who shall 
remain nameless. 

This is a Test was flawed, skewed, incomplete, and a wonder- 
ful example of how theory and practice must be concurrently 
developed when a project is so dependent upon practice, in 
this case programming. The test will be carried on at the San 
Francisco meting on October 31st, where Halloween Live on 
San Francisco's Channel 32 will create yet another variation in 
independent programming. 

WINDOW is rapidly moving toward formalizing its organiza- 
tion. Money is presently being raised to support a pilot project 
which will offer up to 13 weeks of programming and compile 
the resulting market data. During this same period, business 
and legal experts will conduct a complete investigation of the 
various possible corporate and financial structures and their 

If you are interested in participating in the WINDOW Network, 
contact your local steering committee member (as listed 
above), or Karen Ranucci at Downtown Community TV in New 
York, or me at AIVF, who were elected at the New York 

Coming in the January Issue: WINDOW Steering Com- 
mittee Member Richard Wyde on "The Satellite Market- 
place", a comprehensive assessment of the current and 
future availability of satellite transponders for the in- 
dependent user AND an updated progress report from 
WINDOW'S San Francisco meeting. 


On Monday, October 19, 1981 a Media Access Showcase was 

held in the halls of Congress to bring to our legislators an ac- 
curate, first-hand understanding of the scope, breadth and 
quality of alternative and community access programming. 
Organized by the National Citizens Committee for Broad- 
casting (NCCB) in conjunction with the National Federation of 
Local Cable Programmers (NFLCP), the showcase began with 
a press conference at which statements of the NCCB, NFLCP 
and AIVF were read. (The AIVF statement appears below.) 

and viewpoints to the media. Only through a true marketplace 
of media expression can our culture and democracy be 

Cable access makes a marketplace of diverse television pro- 
gramming possible. Cable technology, bringing to the viewing 
home a seemingly limitless number of channels, has for the 
first time provided the technological basis for diversity in 
television programming. However, each cable system, with all 
of its channels, is owned by a single corporate entity. 

Throughout the day, a sampling of access programming was 
presented for group viewing by visitors to the showcase. In 
addition, a library of tapes was available for individual viewing 
on one of several monitors in private viewing booths. 
Several sponsoring organizations, including AIVF, maintained 
information booths from which organizational representatives 
argued the importance of access to showcase visitors. 

Thus, despite the greater number of channels, the editorial 
control of a cable system is even more severe than in broad- 
cast television with its three networks. This is no longer a 
marketplace of ideas, but the media equivalent of a company 

In all, an estimated 300 Congressional members and staff 
attended the showcase. 

The NCCB has expressed the hope that the Media Access 
Showcase will become an annual event on Capitol Hill as a 
celebration of the First Amendment freedoms and rights of 
the public. 


The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) 
is a national trade association of independent producers. 
Independents work in a range of styles and forms from short 
animation and video art pieces to feature length documen- 
taries and dramatic narratives. What is common to all in- 
dependents, however, is that their films and video tapes ex- 
press their own visions and ideas, not those of commercial 
sponsors or studio executives. 

As independents, we are committed to access of all styles 

Cable operators have consistently argued that they are elec- 
tronic journalists and should be free of all requirements for 
the provision of leased or public access channels. Theirs, 
however, is the First Amendment of a one newspaper town in 
which no other newspaper can be published. Unlike the press, 
a cable system can not accommodate the existence of a small 
or competing system in the same municipality. An indepen- 
dent producer whose work is not to the liking of the system 
operator has no way — other than through access — to find 
an audience for his or her work. 

The marketplace of ideas can only work if the marketplace is 
open to all, not where it is owned by one person with the 
unlimited power to determine who may enter the market. 

The availability of access channels, free to the public or 
leased at reasonable rates to producers or programmers, can 
help create a true marketplace in which competing forms and 
ideas are allowed to find their audience and be judged on their 
merits. The public's right of access must be strengthened. 



New Medium, a non-profit consulting firm which links artists 
with the electronic marketplace, asked the staff of Indepen- 
dent Cinema Artists & Producers (ICAP)to develop a current 
profile of the pay television, satellite network and home video 
industries geared to the interests of the independent com- 

These articles originally appeared in New Medium's New 
Market Updates handbook, developed and distributed to 
workshops across the U.S. Funding was provided by the 
National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council 
on the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

In cooperation with New Medium, ICAP is reprinting these 
articles in the Independent "Pay Television" in this issue; 

"Satellite Networks" in the January issue, and "Home Video" 
in the February issue. The cable and new technologies field 
changes very rapidly; new companies start up and subscriber 
levels shift in a matter of months. These articles, focusing on 
programming services actually operating, were originally 
published in January 1981 in the New Medium handbook, and 
recently updated by the ICAP staff to reflect current changes. 

A national non-profit media arts association, ICAP is a pioneer 
in distributing independent film and video to the pay cable in- 
dustry and is in the process of developing its first videodisc. 
For more information on ICAP's services for independent pro- 
ducers, please write or call: ICAP, 625 Broadway, New York, 
New York 10012; 212-533-9180. 


by Susan Einigenburg 
Former Administrator, ICAP 


Pay television ("premium" television) is any service offered to 
subscribers for an additional fee over and above their basic 
cable charge. The primary code word for pay cable and STV is 
"entertainment" and the key programming element is the box- 
office, theatrical-run feature. Most pay cable services are of- 
fered over satellite, with a few services still reaching 
subscribers via microwave or MDS (multipoint distribution 
system). Subscription television (STV), or "over-the-air pay 
TV", is another form of pay television offered for a fee by way 
of an unscrambled signal on a local UHF broadcast station. 
STV is proliferating in urban areas which haven't been cabled 
yet. The total pay and STV subscriber count is currently 
8,000,000 and growing rapidly. Projections for 1985 indicate 
that pay TV subscribers will total at least 17 million, or almost 
20% of total U.S. television homes. 

Pay television has sought to establish itself as a product 
worth buying. Such consumer market traits as product appeal, 
product visibility and product satisfaction are key to the sell- 
ing of pay television to subscribers. Just as network "free" 
television is totally dependent upon advertising dollars for its 
profit margin, pay television is completely dependent upon 
subscriber dollars. No subscriber satisfaction, no dollars. 

Just when a cross-section of the population — primarily 
families, suburban-dwellers — had rejected the economics of 
going to the movie theater for a night out at $4.00 a person for 
a movie, plus parking and babysitting fees — pay television 
hit upon a gold mine of profitability. A product which offers 
18-28 feature films a month at $10 a month per family appears 
as a bargain particularly for the families who depend upon 
television for their primary, nightly source of entertainment. 


The following sections focus on the major elements and 
trends in the pay TV programming mix. Each type of pay 
system is also presented from a programming point of view. 


Feature films are, and will continue to be, the major program- 
ming element in pay cable and STV, providing the primary 
motivation to subscribers to sign up for a service. 

The major pay cable and STV services are looking for features 
with these qualities: 

1) box-office visibility — product comes (to the subscriber,) 
"pre-sold" with well-known names and established market 

2) familiar cast (even if it's a movie that bombed at the box- 
office, the fact that it has stars will facilitate placement on 
pay cable.) Under this category fall all levels of movie quality 
— the important factor is that the stars are "pre-sold", 
creating high market appeal. 

The Warner Amex Movie Channel's 24 hour service and 
Showtime's recent expansion to 24 hours (a move to make 
them more competitively attractive with HBO which com- 
mands 63% of the pay TV universe), make it likely that there 
will be more potential for placement of features that do not fit 
exactly the criteria listed above. Independent features with 
box-office visibility or some visibility created by festivals and 
reviews have the potential of being placed, with perhaps 
greater chance on regional pay services, mini tiers and STV 
systems. While the lease fee depends entirely on the feature's 

perceived market value, an independent feature with less 
visibility than a Hollywood studio production should com- 
mand the same price as a foreign feature or grade B feature. 


An enterprising independent producer with a strong produc- 
tion background, preferably with experience in television and 
with the support of his or her own production company, can 
bid for production contracts with the original programming 
departments of the major services (primarily HBO and 
Showtime). Many of the concepts are developed within the 
company and bear that company's imprint (e.g.. HBO's "Time 
Was" series). It is also possible for an independent producer, 
savvy to the ways of pay TV, to come to the original program- 
ming departments with an original concept (which he or she 
has copyrighted). Then a deal would be made not only for the 
production but also for the concept and script (here it's wise 
to negotiate via lawyers). An article which appeared in 
Videography (December, 1979), "Getting a Piece of Pay Cable: 
Who's Selling, Who's Buying, and How Independents are 
Getting in on the Action", listed the three elements to be suc- 
cessful in securing original production contracts: a 
knowledge of the market, a professional presentation, and the 
basic good idea. 

The larger pay services which can afford original productions 
will probably continue to expand, develop and refine their 
original programming for pay TV. They will use them not only 
to enhance and enliven the programming mix but also as a 
way to avoid total dependence on the precarious supply and 
demand business of securing leases for Hollywood studio 
product. Certainly the freedom and creativity evident in these 
early days of Pay TV make the original programming depart- 
ments exciting and innovative places to be: an experienced 
producer can take advantage of this opportunity. 

Finished half hours packaged to create an hour special, or 
hour productions are being acquired as yet another program- 
ming source for pay TV. Again, acquisition will be based on 
the primary entertainment features of Pay TV: fast-paced, 
moving, engaging, dramatic conflict. The subject has to hit a 
popular or mass audience vein; if it's a documentary, it has to 
be on the order of Pay-TV's "docu-entertainment," 
"docudrama" or "docuvariety" (the pay systems are develop- 
ing a genre of documentary that is quite different from in- 
dependent documentary tradition). 


So far, the greatest percentage of independent film and video 
that has been placed on Pay TV, are shorts shown between 
features in the intermission breaktime (the systems call them 
"filler"; ICAP calls them complementary, or "comp" program- 
ming). Almost all the Pay and STV systems are currently leas- 
ing shorts of 1-30 minutes in running time, the preferred 
average closer to 10 minutes. The rates are low, but with 
marketing by a distributor to the full range of pay and STV 
systems on a non-exclusive basis, it is possible to accumulate 
an ancillary source of income. 

The shorts have to capture the viewer's attention in the first 
minute or several seconds; pacing and production values have 
to be broadcast television level. There is more potential for 
the systems to risk here with an independent production than 
anywhere else. Still, it is rare when a film using experimental 
techniques is placed. Documentaries are also hard to place 
unless they have a strong dramatic appeal and engaging style. 
No social-issue documentaries done in a serious way will be 
placed — they don't fit the entertainment formula of Pay TV. 
Favored shorts are live action, comedy, also outstanding 
animation. Music is also preferred — the pay systems use a 

lot of free video music pieces supplied by the record com- 
panies. Other popular themes are Hollywood or star shorts, 
sports shorts, seasonal shorts. 

The shorts are placed in a slot where commercials would be 
on broadcast television. There is talk about advertising on Pay 
systems as a way to reduce subscriber fees. Ads might 
displace shorts. However, there are signs that shorts are in to 
stay: some systems list them in their program guide, and un- 
published audience surveys indicate that more than 50% of 
subscribers watch and enjoy them. 


The formats acceptable for transmission via satellite-based 
pay TV are: 16mm transferred to 1 or 2 inch tape; or video pro- 
duction on 1 or 2 inch tape (there is a trend towards 1 inch 
tape). Non-satellite based systems often transmit on 1 " or %" 
tape. The systems will pick up transfer costs; the film or video 
producer supplies the correct format. 

In order to secure placement of their work on Pay TV, indepen- 
dent producers must own television rights, including Pay TV 
and STV rights to their work (cable rights are usually a 
separate right from broadcast rights). All music rights and 
other material must also be legally cleared in the producer's 

Placement of work on Pay TV is done on a lease basis rather 
than sale basis. The lease is for a particular contract period. It 
is important to lease work on a non-exclusive basis rather 
than exclusively, since that way a work can be placed on a 
number of systems. 


For purposes of discussion, systems are grouped by type of 

I. Pay Cable: Major systems (maxi services) 

II. Pay Cable: Minor and regional systems (mini services) 

III. STV Systems (Pay television offered via UHF broadcast) 


MAJOR SYSTEMS (Maxi Services) 

Three major services — HBO, Showtime and Warner's The 
Movie Channel — vie for the major subscriber dollars in the 
pay universe. 


Owned by Time Inc., HBO is the pay industry leader with more 
than 6 million subscribers. Started in November, 1972, it was 
the first to go on satellite, which made its growth out-pace 
everyone else. Its programming is geared to satisfy the widest 
possible spectrum of pay viewers. In this sense HBO is 
perhaps the closest of the pay systems to a broadcast net- 

HBO targets its programming to its predominantly 25-45 year 
old, main-stream middle to upper-income subscribers. Pro- 
gramming is selected and geared to retain the subscriber. In 
addition to the regular Hollywood Product, HBO has the 
largest budget for and greatest investment (of all Pay 
systems) in original productions, recent examples of which 

• retrospective documentary, part of the "legend" series 
focusing on distinguished, outstanding Americans (e.g., 
Eleanor Roosevelt). 

• musical concert specials showcasing superstars like Elton 
John and Kris Kristofferson 


• documentaries such as the Consumer Reports specials, 
presenting information in an original and entertaining for- 
mat (a style developed specifically for Pay TV) 

• Broadway shows — theatre for Pay TV, a more recent trend 

• Sports specials, such as a gymnastics competition 

A recent example of acquired product is the Academy Award 
winning documentary "Who are the DeBolts and Where Did 
They Get 19 Kids", with HBO producing its own exclusive 
sequel narrated by Kris Kristofferson. 


Owned by Viacom, the television syndicator, and Tele- 
prompter, the largest MSO (multiple system operator) in the 
country. Started July 1976 on microwave, now on satellite, 
Showtime reaches over 2 million subscribers. 

Showtime has consistently taken a less conventional tack 
than HBO in its programming, and tends to program a greater 
variety of off-beat, risque original productions (and has, like 
HBO, made a large commitment to original production for its 
service). Examples of recent original productions include: 

• "Bizarre", a series of uncensored, unpredictable comedy 

• "What's Up America", an off-beat magazine show pro- 
duced by independent producer, Charles Braverman 

• Broadway and off-Broadway theatre 

• American classic films, quality foreign films, movie 


In 1979, Warner Communications and American Express 
formed a new company, Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment 
Corporation (WASEC) to deliver programming by satellite. 
Formerly "Star Channel", the Movie Channel reaches 
1,000,000 (1.1 million) subscribers via satellite. With its new 
name, it is positioning itself more aggressively to take a 
greater share as a singly selected pay service through em- 
phasis on its 24 hours of "just movies, nothing but movies" 
and it's also trying for the multiple-pay market, where the 
Movie Channel is paired with HBO or another max! pay ser- 
vice. Warner's Movie Channel is dominated by movie product 
from the standard sources. It does not place shorts and has 
little or no interest in original productions — but Warner is a 
company to watch, with the QUBE experiment, and with the 
Amex money spurring investment in new ventures such as a 
video music channel. 




Although some regional systems have been swallowed up by 
larger systems, or have died for lack of a foothold in the 
marketplace, a few have survived to be either a viable alter- 
native to the major systems or an add-on pay service in the 
multiple pay market. Perhaps the strongest of these is 
PRISM, located in Philadelphia, and reaching over 200,000 
subscribers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. It has 
done well and grown rapidly by offering a combination of 
Hollywood feature product plus regional sports. Prism plays 
light, entertaining, sports oriented shorts between features. 
There is potential here for half to one hour product to be ac- 
quired as specials, preferably entertainment or sports. 



Based in Portland, Maine, and reaching over 100,000 
subscribers, HTN identifies itself as "going after people who 
don't take pay because its too expensive or object to R rated 
movies in their home". It's cheap ($3.95) and hence the 
audience is more middle or lower income than the other pay 
services. It really is a mini tier offered to subscribers who 
want a small service or an add-on to other major services. It 
plays one feature a night, G and PG only, family oriented. 
Other family oriented original productions may be more of a 
reality if and when it is more firmly financed (Westinghouse 
has recently acquired it). 


Introduced by HBO (Time Inc.) as a pay channel or tier de- 
signed to complement HBO's main service, Cinemax reaches 
over 700,000 subscribers. The motivation for starting Cinemax 
was to beat out the competition in the growing muleiple pay 
market by introducing a service that could fit perfectly with 
HBO. The formula so far (24 hours per day as of January, 1981) 
is as follows: 

• 4-6 p.m. — youth and family films (after school features) 

• 6-8 p.m. — family fare PG and G features 

• 8-sign off — broad range of features, more geared to 
adults, includes R product (similar type of feature to main 
service, perhaps less block-busting). Cinemax is counter- 
programmed to HBO, with staggered starting hours to of- 
fer a choice between the two channels. While HBO is 
primarily mass appeal oriented, Cinemax is designed both 
for special interest and mass appeal. Subscribers may pur- 
chase either service or both. 

Because of its 24 hour service and its special interest pro- 
gramming, independent producers may find Cinemax a 
place for features, hour specials as well as shorts (up to 30 


Galavision is a maxi service designed for a Spanish- 
speaking audience. Designed by SIN (Spanish International 
Network), they play mostly Spanish feature films from 
Mexico, Spain and South America. Original productions in 
Spanish are being sought. Galavision currently reaches 
75,000 subscribers. 


Bravo is a mini pay tier developed by four of the larger cable 
companies: Cablevision, Cox Cable, Daniels & Associates and 
Comcast Corp., who joined together to form Rainbow Pro- 
gramming Services. Bravo was the first performing arts chan- 
nel to be announced, followed by basic cable performing arts 
services, CBS Cable and ABC Video. It is the only one being 
offered as a pay tier. Launched in December, 1980, and play- 
ing on Sunday and Monday nights, Bravo's format is to 
premiere a major performing arts cultural event, offered in 
stereo, followed by a magazine show on the arts. Bravo in- 
cludes a mix of original Rainbow production and acquired 
work covering arts not included in the original productions. 
The formula here is "arts as entertainment". The current 
subscriber count is 100,000. 


Uptown, a local mini play channel offered only by Tele- 
prompter/Manhattan: 15,000 subscribers. 

Optical Systems Marquee (Home Premiere Cinema), a pay 
cable service offered in southern California: 10,000 

Theta Cable's Z Channel, a pay cable service offered in the 
Los Angeles area: 70,000 subscribers. 

Vu-TV (formerly Bestvision), a pay cable service offered in the 
southwest: 40,000 subscribers 

Private Screenings, a mini pay tier developed by Satori Pro- 
ductions, consisting of R rated late night adult feature enter- 
tainment (sex and action, exploitation flicks) 

Escapade, same as Private Screenings, an R rated service of- 
fered by Rainbow Programming Services, recently joined with 
Playboy magazine. 

III. STV SYSTEMS (Pay television 
offered via UHF broadcast) 

The feature product and much of the programming is the 
same as pay cable with fewer original productions and more 
product geared to the particular urban area (such as regional 


The oldest and most successful of the STV operations. On-TV 
is operated by National Subscription Television, a company 
formed by Oak/Chartwell Industries. It's start was in the Los 
Angeles area, expanding to Detroit, reaching 300,000 
subscribers. It offers 10 feature premiers a month, plus family, 
R rated drive-in movies, sports and other features. On-TV 

acquires 60 minute specials and shorts, and is scheduled to 
expand to new urban markets: Minneapolis, Ft. Lauderdale, 
and Phoenix. 


Offered by American Subscription Televison. Selec-TV plays 
in Los Angeles and Milwaukee, reaching 65,000 subscribers. 
Although smaller than On-TV, the programming mix is equally 
as attractive, and Selec-TV has a reputation as a maverick — 
more willing to experiment with foreign features or indepen- 
dent features (played Heartland). 


Reaching 87,000 subscribers in the greater New York and New 
Jersey area, WHT plans to expand to Philadelphia and 
Washington. It offers standard STV fare with shorts between 


Preview (New England Subscription TV), programmed by MSO 
American Television and Communications Corp, and starting 
in the Boston area. 

Starcase (Universal Subscription TV), also in Boston area, 
reaching 35,000 subscribers. 

Super Time, (Subscription Television of America) in San Fran- 
cisco area, 2,400 subscribers. 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 


16mm & 35mm 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 243-3550 


FILMMAKERS, INC. 625 Broadway, 9th Floor New York, NY. 10012 212-473-3400 

October 15, 1981 


Executive Director 

IE * Otlicio) 
Lawrence Sapadin 

Jane Morrison 


Marc Weiss 


Richard Schmiechen 


Kathy Kline 

Eric Breltbart 
Judy Irola 
Jessie Maple 
Kitty Morgan 
Robert Richter 
Julio Rodriguez 


Matt Clarke 

Mr. Robert Poli, President 
Professional Air Traffic Controllers 

444 North Capitol Street, NW 

Suite 820 
Washington, DC 20001 

Dear Mr. Poli : 

The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers 
(AIVF) supports the members of the Professional Air 
Traffic Controllers Organization (PATC0) who have been 
on strike since August 3, 1981. 

We believe that the right to strike should not be 
abridged at the convenience of an employer, public or 
private. The right to associate - whether as a trade 
union or a trade association - is protected by the First 
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The right to strike 
makes that right effective. 

We consider the Administration's response to PATCO's 
strike - the summary firing of all union members - to be 
unjustifiable given the important rights at stake and the 
seriousness of the union's safety claims with respect 
to both the public and the controllers themselves. 

AIVF is a trade association of independent film and 
video producers and supporters of independent video and 
film. As independent producers, we are dedicated to the 
strengthening of First Amendment rights of expression 
and of access to the media. We have also sought to give 
a voice to those in our society, such as organized labor, 
who have typically been underrepresented - or misrepresented 
in the commercially sponsored media. 

Rights of access, expression and association only 
exist as long as people are willing to act to protect them. 
Your strike has our support. 

Very truly yours, 

Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers, Inc. 

^Lawrence 3aj$4di 

Executive Director 




ting A & B rolls) & POST- 
Technical advise free. Contact: Bill 
Hampton Film Services, 21 West 46 
St., Suite 702, NY NY 10036, (212) 

FOR SALE: Sony 3400 portapak 
deck Vz" reel-to-reel BW. AC box 
and RF unit included. Great condi- 
tion. $200 or best offer. For more 
info contact: (212) 233-5856. 

FOR SALE: CP 16R Camera body, 
viewfinder, four magazines, two 
chargers & batteries. Mint condition 
for $5500. Contact: Michael Hall, 53 
Center Rd., Easton, CT. 06612 or 
call (203) 261-0615. 

FOR RENT: Front & rear projection 
screens available for any purpose. 
Consultation & installation for all 
projections and exhibitions. For 
more info contact: The Klatu Project 
Ltd. or Klatufilms at (212) 928-2407, 

new batteries & charger for $850. 
Kit includes filter & case; fully ser- 
vices by Camera Mart. For more info 
contact: The Klatu Project Ltd., (212) 
928-2407, 795-3372. 

FOR SALE: Magnetic recording 
stock 16mm. Sealed cases. 3M 
stock 341 SP polyester available for 
$20 per 1200' roll. Call Steven 
Jones at (212) 928-2407. 

available with 16mm projector. Max. 
70 people. Rate @ $35/hr., flexible. 
Ready daytimes till 7 pm. or after 12 
pm, Sun. all day & nite. For info con- 
tact: Anna Koos, 256 West 23 St., 
(212)691-1238, 242-9709. 

FOR SALE: Beaulieu R 16 auto- 
matic, with 25mm lens, 50 MA bat- 
tery & charger. Excellent condition, 
$830. Angenieux 12-120 zoom lens. 
Mint condition, $1075. Equipment 
checked out & serviced by official 
US Beaulieu service center. 16mm 
2-gang synchronizer, brand new, 

$95. "The Poor Man's Steenbeck", 
16mm flatbed editing table. Depend- 
able editing console at unbelievably 
low price. Must be seen. Mint condi- 
tion, $1550. For more info contact: 
Tony Perrotto, (212) 826-2000 or 
823-0448, leave message if 


TION conference as envisioned by 
feature animator Ralph Bakshi 
being planned for NYC in next 6 
months. For more info contact: 
Ralph Bakshi, 8132 Sunset Blvd., 
Sun Valley CA 93152, (213) 768-4000. 


equipped rooms. Two 6-plate 
Steenbecks, 1-16/35 KEM, sound 
transfers from 1 /4" to 16mm and 
35mm mag, narration recordings, 
extensive sound effects library, 
interlock screening room. Contact: 
Cinetudes Film Productions Ltd., 
295 West 4 St., NY NY 10014, (212) 

Quick and efficient synching of 
16mm dailies & track. Equipment 
provided. Contact: Terry, (212) 

16/35 KEM in fully-equipped editing 
room. For more information con- 
tact: Charles Light, (212) 473-8043 or 
Jacki at (212) 925-7995. 


independent 16mm films, optical/ 
silent, maximum 90 min. Entry 
deadline Dec. 15. For more info con- 
tact: Teresa Tucker or Kathryn 
Feild, Film Expo, 1300 Canyon Rd., 
Santa Fe NM 87501. (505) 983-1207. 

Festival is accepting 16mm films, 
filmstrips or % " videotapes. 
Deadline Nov. 15. For entry forms & 
guidelines contact: APGA Conven- 
tion Office, APGA, 2 Skyline PI., 
Suite 400, 5203 Leesburg Ave., Falls 
Church VA 22041. 

Festival for 16mm, 20 min. max- 
imum films. Videotapes not ac- 
cepted. Entry by Dec. 31. For more 
details contact: Suzanne Carleton, 
AOTA Inc., 1383 Peccard Dr., 
Rockville MD 20850. 

nontheatrical 16mm films (educa- 
tion, mental health, social studies). 
Entry fee: 1-11 min. $35, 12-25 min. 
$50, 25-49 min. $75, over 49 $100. 
Deadline for entry Jan. 14. For more 
info contact: Nadine Covert, 43 
West 61 St., NY NY 10023. 

to give recognition to films pro- 
duced for the specific purpose of 
featuring Travel, Vacations & 
Sports. Entry deadline: Dec. 20. For 
more info: H. Werner Buck Enter- 
prises, TFF, 1050 Georgia St., Los 
Angeles CA 90015, (213) 749-9331. 

ternational touring exhibition 
presenting a selection of the finest 
independent video. Tapes of all 
genres are eligible. Entry deadline: 
March 15, 1982. For entry forms: 
Ithaca Video Projects, 328 East 
State St., Ithaca NY 14850, (607) 


INTERNATIONAL for independent, 
feature, documentary, 35/16mm 
films. Entry deadline Jan. 1. For 
more info contact: Hubert Bals, 
Kruisplein 30, Rotterdam, 



of amateur filmmakers to be held in 
Belgium accepting 16mm, Super- 
8mm or 8mm documentary, experi- 
mental, animation films. Entry dead- 
line Dec. 15. For more info contact: 
Robert Laurent, Ave. Paul Hymans, 
126/20, B-1200 Brussels, BELGIUM. 


AMATEUR Film Festival accepting 
competitors who have made 16mm, 
9.5mm, Super-8, 8mm films without 
professional assistance. Entry by 
Dec. 31. For details contact: Brenda 
M. Wood, 63 Woodfield Ave., Ash- 
tead, Surrey KT 21, 2Bt, ENGLAND. 

Festival open to limited entry ac- 
cepting feature films, 35mm, not 
shown outside of producing coun- 
try. Entry deadline Dec. 8-15. For 
more info contact: Umit Utku, 
Samanyolu Sokak No. 50-52, Kervan 
Ap. Kat 1, Sisli-lstanbul, TURKEY. 

TECHNICAL Film Festival for 
35/16mm & V2- 3 A" videotapes pro- 
duced in 1973 or after. Entry 
deadline Dec. 15. For more info con- 
tact: Anne DePaw, Ave. F.D. 
Roosevelt So., B-1050 Brussels, 


NU MOOVEEZ, a Los Angeles 
theatre devoted exclusively to 
screening short subjects, seeks 
highest quality 16mm comedy, 
drama, documentary, animation, 
musical & experimental films under 
1 hour. All new programs publicized 
by NU MOOVEEZ, reviewed by LA 
Times. Filmmakers divide 20% of 
box office gross. Mail films (insured 
with check/MO for return postage) 
to NY MOOVEEZ, 6515 Sunset 
Blvd., LA CA 90028, or call (213) 

US ARTS CABLE TV station, Long 
Beach Channel 8, seeks dance 
videotapes up to an hour in length. 
Contact: Kathryn, 11826 Kiowa Ave. 
#106, Los Angeles CA 90049. 


for short films & videotapes on per- 
forming artists for cable. For more 
info contact: Susan Whittenberg, 
One Media Crossways, Woodbury 
NY 11797. 

SUPERTIME, new STV station in 
San Francisco seeking short, well- 
produced video pieces. More info 
contact: Andrea Franco, 1176 
Cherry Ave., San Bruno CA 94066. 

a series on KWCM-TV Minneapolis, 
seeks independent works. Contact: 
Television Ideas, 2710 West 110 St., 
Bloomington MN 55431, (612) 

cable TV market now available 
through Feature Associates as ven- 
ture between 4-year-old newspaper 
syndicate & NY cable distribution 
company. Producers with finished 
videotapes contact: Feature 
Associates, 3334 Kerner Blvd., San 
Rafael CA 94901. No phone calls 

broadcasting quality arts-related 
films/tapes under 15 mins. for inclu- 
sion in disc targeted to 9-14 age 
group. 16/35mm, 3 A", 1 & 2" accept- 
able. All rights must be cleared for 
home video use. Postmark deadline 
Jan. 6. Include detailed description, 
running time, credits. ICAP Video- 
disc Project, Att: Kitty Morgan, 625 
Broadway, NY NY 10012. 
CHAIR is a non-profit organization 
of professional women dedicated to 
the expansion of women's roles in 
the film industry. They are now plan- 
ning Short Takes, a monthly screen- 
ing series of short films of any 
genre, written, produced or directed 
by women. For more info, contact: 
WITDC, c/o Abby Darrow-Sherman, 
1430 West Elmdale, Chicago IL 
60660, (312) 262-2723. 

wanted for distribution. Small com- 
pany, good sales record, personal 
product attention. Open to different 
distribution arrangements. Contact: 
Peter Lodge, Circle Oak Produc- 
tions, 73 Girdle Ridge Dr., Katonah 
NY 10536, (914)232-9451. 

RAPHERS being sought for list 
being complied by EFLA. For more 
info contact: Maryann Chach, EFLA, 
43 W. 61 St., NY NY 10023, (212) 

conducting a search for films, tapes 
& slideshows which relate to com- 
munity life, issues & concerns. For 
more info contact: Marc Weiss or 
Una Newhouser, CMP, 208 West 13 
St., NY NY 10011, (212) 620-0877. 

ONE WAY FILMS seeks New Wave/ 
Punk Films to distribute. For more 
info contact: Richard Gailowski, 
One Way Films, 1035 Guerrero, San 
Francisco CA 94110. 

political, social, wildlife, science, 
historical, & human interest 
documentaries 40-60 mins. Also 
5-18 min. animated shorts & shorts 
as fillers. SW representative Frank 
Hirschfeldt will be in NY Nov. 
30-Dec. 5 & Dec. 13-16. Send promo- 
tional info immediately to: AIVF, 
Att: SWEDEN, 625 Broadway, NY 
NY 10012. 

GOOD THINKING, a show about 
Yankee ingenuity in the 80's, seek- 
ing quality films/tapes less than 10 
mins. Competitive rates. Send 
synopsis, format & length to: Good 
Thinking, WTBS, 1050Techwood Dr. 
NW, Atlanta GA 30318. 

SOUTHEAST Video Art competition 
for works made during last 3 years: 
entries accepted until Jan. 15, 1982. 
For entry forms & competition rules 
contact Video Competition, ICA of 
the Virginia Museum, Boulevard & 
Grove Ave., Richmond VA 23221, 
(804) 257-6479. 

SABES: South Atlantic Bilingual 
Education Service Center at Florida 
International University looking for 
video or film programs, either bi- 
lingual or focusing on particular 
ethnic group. Spanish, Chinese, etc. 
welcome. Contact: Maria Lino, 
SABES, Bay Vista Campus, North 
Miami FL 33181, (305) 940-5640. 


films & tapes for TV series show- 
casing independent works. For 
more info contact: Golden TV Pro- 
ductions, 233 East 70 St., NY NY 

THE MOVIE CHANNEL, exhibitor- 
only pay TV service looking for 
shorts & documentaries. For further 
info contact: David Hilton, Warner- 
Amex Satellite Entertainment Co., 
1211 Ave. of the Americas, NY NY 
10036, (212) 944-4250. 

ing tapes suitable for children for 
inclusion in a catalogue to be dis- 
tributed to libraries, museums, TV 
stations & schools. For more info 
contact: Center for Children's 
Television, 71 Mercer Ave., Harts- 
dale NY 10513, (914) 948-0114. 

SYSTEMS seeking documentary 
programs featuring a "wholistic 
view of natural resources". 
$50/minute, plus other benefits. 
Write: Taylor Barcroft, New Earth TV 
Worksystems, PO Box 1281, Santa 
Cruz CA. 

FESTIVAL, cable TV series spot- 
lighting work of young filmmakers, 
seeking top quality student & semi- 
professional films. For info contact: 
Tish Tash Productions, Greg 
Roselli, Suite 930, 11 S. LaSalle St., 
Chicago IL 60603. 

terested in acquiring short erotic 
films in live action or animation, 
preferable 20 min. or less running 
time, for inclusion in 16mm package 
for distribution to universities & art 
houses. Films may be humorous, 
narrative, or non-narrative, but con- 
tent must be non-violent & non- 
exploitative. Cinematic technical 
excellence required. Send films for 
preview to: Serious Business Co., 
1145 Mandan Blvd., Oakland CA 
94610, (415) 832-5600. 

seeks films about anthropology, 
animals, nature studies, folktales 
from different cultures, pottery mak- 
ing, kite flying, street games, for in- 
clusion in the American Museum of 

Natural History's Christmas Film 
Festival. Send promotional material 
to: Merrill Lee Fuchs, Museum 
Festival Coordinator, MCFC, 3 West 
29 St., 11th Fl., New York NY 10001, 
(212) 679-9620. 


THE FILM FUND awards $85,150 for 
media projects throughout the 
country. Guidelines for applications 
for next funding cycle available 
upon request. Contact: Lillian 
Jimenez, Film Fund, 80 East 11 St., 
Suite 647, NY NY 10003, (212) 

awards up to 8 $3500 fellowships 
yearly for production of scripts or 
screenplays. Contact: WGA 55 West 
57 St., NY NY 10019. 

in film & video available from 
University Film Association. Write: 
Robert Davis, Dept. Radio-TV-Film, 
Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX 78216. 

MINI-GRANTS by individual artists 
for community TV productions of up 
to $1500 available through NEA 
MEdia Arts Program. For more info 
contact: Mini Grants, Downtown 
Community TV Center, 87 Lafayette 
St., NY NY 10013. 

writing of 3 original feature screen- 
plays as part of a revolving fund. 
Contact: Nancy Rae Stone, Film 
Dept., Columbia College, 600 S. 
Michigan, Chicago IL, 60605, (312) 

more info contact: Robert Fair 
Music Productions, (212) 966-2852. 

MUSIC FOR FILM: Synthesist/com- 
poser will provide original tracks for 
your film r video. For more info: 
Aural Vision, (212) 787-8284. 

desires film projects to create 
original musical scoring. Contact: 
Jack Tamul, PO Box 51017, 
Jacksonville Beach FL, (904) 

ARTWORK, a non-profit arts 
employment service for employers 
& qualified artists, offers free ser- 
vices to NYC residents. Contact: 
Artwork, 280 B'way, Suite 412, NY 
NY 10007, (212) 233-8467. 

ARTS provides free legal represen- 
tation for artists & arts organiza- 
tions. Downtown office at 280 
B'way opens Oct. 6. For more info 
contact: VLA, (212) 575-1150. 

ARTWORK is a federally funded 
employability program for artists 
who are New York City residents, 
and is sponsored by The Founda- 
tion for the Community of Artists. 
For more info: FFTCOA, 280 Broad- 
way, Suite 412, New York NY 10017, 
(212) 233-8467. 

NEW YORK is a non-profit corpora- 
tion, founded to support women's 
significant participation in the 
economy, generate cooperation and 
creative competition, and promote 
the development of a positive at- 
mosphere for women in the busi- 
ness community. For more info: 
WBOONY, 150 West 52 St., New 
York NY 10019, (212) 245-8230. 

direct swaps of studio and living 
space internationally. Contact: 
IVAEP, PO Box 207 Village Station, 
201 Varick St., New York NY 10014 
(212) 255-5706. 

services for any kind of projection, 
theatricals, multimedia presenta- 
tions. Contact: The Klatu Projects 
Ltd., (212) 928-2407, 795-3372. 

cludes time, words, feet (16 & 
35mm) & meters (16 & 35mm). Use- 
ful & free. Send self-addressed 
envelope to: Darino Films, 222 Park 
Ave So., NY NY 10003. 

CPB PROGRAM FUND will make ap- 
prox. $1.8 million available for 
minority program production in FY 
'82, & will allocate $750,000 to help 



underwrite cost of acquiring & pro- 
ducing minority TV programs 
through PBS' Station Program 

Feasibility Project has awarded 11 
grants totalling $54,000 for groups 
& organizations who express in- 
terest in establishing & operating 
public telecommunication entities. 
Next round of project grants will be 
early next Spring. For applications 
contact: Robert Thomas or Cheryl 
Strange, Station Expansion, 1111 16 
St. NW, Washington DC 20036, or 
call (202) 293-6160. 


faculty members for School of 
Language & Communications. Re- 
quires Ph.D.-level education. Send 
resume, Statement of Teaching, 
research interest & letters of 
reference by Feb. 15 to: Com- 
munications Research Committee, 
School of Language & Communica- 
tions, Hampshire College, Amherst 
MA 01002. 

WNYC-TV seeking a Television 
Director and an Assistant to the 
Production Manager. For more info 
contact: Tad Turner, Production 
Manager, WNYC-TV, 1 Centre St., 
NY NY 10007, (212) 566-7248. 

TION has work/study position open: 
Assistant Scheduling Dept. Con- 
tact: Jonathan Weider, 4 Rivington 
St., NY NY 10002, (212) 673-9361. 

FILM IN THE CITIES has newly- 
created Administrative Director 
position open. Qualified candidates 
send resume & 5 references 
directed to this position to Richard 
Weise, Executive Director, Film in 
the Cities, 2388 University Ave., St. 
Paul MN 55114. 

SCRIPTS WANTED: Jones & Spiel 
Productions seeking materials by 
independent writers: Short Stories, 
Action, Horror, Rock Musicals or 
60's. Mail materials to Jones/Spiel, 
454 Fort Washington Ave., Suite 66, 
NY NY 10033. 

RAPHER available immediately. Fic- 
tion & documentary. Reel available. 
Access to 16mm equipment. Con- 
tact: Igor Sunara, (212) 249-0416. 


women are thinking and doing to 
change communications media. 
Rate @ $20/yr. For more info con- 
tact: Women's Institute for Freedom 
of the Press, 3306 Ross PI. NW, 
Washington DC 20008, (202) 
363-0812 or 966-7783. 

IN THESE TIMES: a national news- 
weekly with regular coverage of the 
arts. 6 months/$10.95. For more info 
contact: In These Times, 1509 N. 
Milwaukee Ave., Chicago IL 60622. 


YORK: a 3-part series focusing on 3 
types of movies: animated films, 
early comedies, & recent feature 
films as they developed in NY, will 
screen Oct. 2-Nov. 28. Tickets $3.50. 
For more info contact: Astoria 
Foundation at (212) 784-4520. 

CINEPROBE, now in its 14th year, 
presents another season of inde- 
pendent film screenings. Oct. 
26-Dec. 14 at MoMA's Titus Audi- 
torium. For schedules call (212) 
956-7078 or 956-6100. 

opens at MoMA's Roy & Niuta 
Auditorium Nov. 5-Jan. 2. Tickets 
sold one week in advance. For info 
call (212) 956-7284. 

one-hour documentary about US 
resident Cuban exiles, will be 
screened at the Jefferson Market 
Library Dec. 2. For more info con- 
tact: Karen Ranucci, (212) 677-5977 
or 966-4510. 

LORANG'S WAY, part 2 of an award- 
winning anthropological trilogy by 
Judith & David MacDougall, opens 
at the Film Forum Oct. 28-Nov. 10. 
For tickets contact: Film Forum 1, 
57 Watts St., NY NY 10013 or call 
(212) 431-1590. 

SUPERFILM SHOW, a 4-part series 
of films as art for kids, will be 
shown at the Newark Museum. 
Showings on Fri. & Sat. Nov. 27-28 & 
Sat. Dec. 26 at 1:30 & 3 pm. Free ad- 
mission. For more info contact: 
Newark Museum, 49 Washington 
St., Newark NJ or call (201) 


TION Inc. was confirmed the 
amount of $40,000 by the Rocke- 
feller Foundation. The grant will be 
used to increase technical as well 
as administrative support for the 
video facility. 

FILM/VIDEO makers needed to par- 
ticipate in Marilyn Goldstein's 
Cable TV Video Beats Westway. For 

champagne planning party and 
more info contact: Marilyn Gold- 
stein, (212) LI 4-0742. 

NAMAC: National Alliance of Media 
Arts Centers, Inc., a national 
organization dedicated to advocacy 
of media arts, is accepting member- 
ship applicants. Send your $10 
check to NAMAC, 80 Wooster St., 
NY NY 10012. 

STOLEN: CP 16 A & Angenieux 
12-120 zoom, series number 
1254487 with 7-inch viewfinder, bat- 
teries, charger, mags & blue & silver 
location case. If equipment is 
presented to you please notify 
Jones at (212) 928-2407. 

MING CONSORTIUM, representing 
29 member stations, aims to chan- 
nel work of independents into PBS 
networks. For more info contact: 
Frank Rhodes, NBPC, 700 Bryden 
Rd., Suite 135, Columbus OH 43215. 


Film Stock Scotch #208 & 209 

Leader Fullcoat Fi,m for slides 



Frezzi Camera Rental 

„- , , , „ Video Cassettes 

16 Interlock Prjn. 

RA % K 1 2,475-7884 

814 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 





The Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers is a 
non-profit trade association 
dedicated to the promotion of 
independent video and film, and 
to effective advocacy on behalf of 
independents nationwide. 

Membership in AIVF brings you: 

and video monthly, 

• Short film distribution in com- 
mercial theatres nationwide 
through the Short Film Show- 

• Foreign festival distribution, 

• Seminars on technical, legal, 
and business issues, 

• Information and position pa- 
pers on policy issues affecting 
independent production, and 





Write or call: AIVF, 625 Broadway, 
9th Floor, New York, NY 10012, 








by Sandy Mandelberger 

by Helen O'Donoghue 

Edited by Wendy Li del I 
Compiled by Leslie Cocco/Foreign 
and Sian Evens/Domestic 

Independent by Default — or by Choice 

by Richard S. Wyde 




The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New 
York NY 10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt service organization for the 
promotion of independent video and film. Publication of The Indepen- 
dent is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York 
State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
Federal Agency. 

Subscription is included in membership in the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the trade association sister of 
FIVF. AIVF is a national association of independent producers, crafts- 
people and supporters of independent video and film. Together, FIVF 
and AIVF provide a broad range of educational and professional 
services and advocacy for independents and the general public. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our members and sup- 
porters. If you have an idea for, or wish to contribute an article to, The 
Independent, contact the Editor at the above address. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not intended to reflect the opinion 
of the Board of Directors — they are as diverse as our member, staff 
and reader contributors. 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block, David W. Leitner, 

Odessa Flores John Greyson 

Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Compositype Studio 

Advertising Representative: Michelle Slater 


Staff Members: Lawrence Sapadin, Executive Director; Wendy 
Lidell, Assistant Director; Sol Horwitz, Short Film Showcase 
Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film Showcase 
Administrative Assistant; Fran Piatt, Membership Developer; 
Odessa Flores Administrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Jane Morrison, President; Marc 
Weiss, Vice President; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, 
Treasurer (FIVF Board); Richard Schmiechen, Chair; Eric Breit- 
bart, Pablo Figueroa, Jessie Maple, Kitty Morgan, Judy Irola, 
Julio Rodriguez, Robert Richter; Lawrence Sapadin, Ex 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process changes of address, 
renewals and other changes in your mailing status. 
Don't wait until after you have moved to send AIVF your 
new address. Give us as much advance notice as possi- 
ble and include your current mailing label, and you'll 
keep on receiving THE INDEPENDENT without interrup- 


THE INDEPENDENT welcomes letters to the editor. All cor- 
respondence should be mailed to The Independent c/o FIVF, 
625 Broadway, 9th floor, New York NY 10012. Letters may be 
edited for length and clarity. 


If three or more film/videomakers plan to enter the same 
foreign festival, FIVF can arrange a group shipment, thereby 
saving you money! What you must do is drop us a note telling 
us what festival you are planning to enter, and if we get 
enough interest in one, we will call you. 


More and more programmers have been coming into the AIVF 
office looking for independent films/tapes for their festivals, 
cable systems and exhibitions. Please send us material on 
your films and tapes so that we may make it available to in- 
terested parties. Send c/o Film/Tape File, AIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York, NY 10012. 



Dear Mr. Sapadin: 

Please find enclosed copies of a questionnaire and letter I 
sent out a couple of months ago to about 25 AIVF members 
living in Chicago. The purpose of this questionnaire and letter 
was to a.) gather information on regional AIVF members for 
my own personal business reasons, and b.) get feedback on 
organizing a regional Chicago/lllinois/Midwest AIVF chapter. 
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, only 6 of the 25 
members responded. But I am happy to say that those 6 
members seem to be, at least on paper, experienced and well- 
qualified independent filmmakers, and most are interested in 
forming a regional office. 

I do not understand why only 6 of the 25 members responded. 
Perhaps most Chicago members are student and have left 
Chicago. Perhaps the Chicago AIVF membership list you sent 
me several months ago is out of date. Perhaps the question- 
naire should be sent from your office. Perhaps members 
aren't interested. At any rate, I would like to send out another 
follow-up questionnaire. I also think a notice in the INDEPEN- 
DENT would make AIVF members more aware of the fact that 
this information is needed, if we are ever going to have a 
Midwest structure. 

I had hoped to organize a meeting of Midwest members in 
Chicago or Champaign, sometime in November or December. 
But this meeting may be delayed until I receive more 
responses from AIVF members. 

I hope that you are not offended that I've taken these actions. 
I'm only attempting to open the channels of communication 
among members. As I stated in my letter to you of March 30, 1 
think we need regional chapters, and I'm willing to invest a fair 
amount of time in developing and organizing a Midwest group. 
Regional structures should be set up wherever there is a high 
concentration of members, like Chicago or LA. and/or where 
there is enthusiasm for such a structure. I would suggest hav- 
ing members from each structure decide/appoint/elect a 
regional representative for each chapter. If your budget 
allows, offices could be set up, conferences, festivals, and 
monthly or seasonal meetings could be held. Films and 
videotapes could be exchanged among chapters. And regional 
reports should be included in the INDEPENDENT. How suc- 
cessful will these chapters be? That depends on your budget 
and how innovative, creative, and enthusiastic your represen- 
tatives are. 

I would also suggest having one person from your New York 
office be responsible for keeping tabs on your regional struc- 
tures. Finally, I strongly suggest that you read the Sierra 
Club's A Guide for the Member. This brochure will provide you 
with information on how the Sierra Club is organized. Not only 
are they a national environmental organization, but they also 
have regional chapters, local groups, a Regional Conservation 
Committee, as well as a Board of Directors, the Sierra Club 
Council, and the National Committee and Task Force. This 
brochure might give you some ideas on how AIVF can begin 
to establish regional structures. If you are interested in 
reading this brochure, write to: 

National Office 

Sierra Club Headquarters 

530 Bush Street 

San Francisco, CA 94108 

Or drop me a line and I'll send you a copy of mine. 

Now, can you please answer the following questions? 

1. How many AIVF members are there? What percentage of 
the membership is located in New York? In other cities? 

2. Can you please publish in the INDEPENDENT or send me 
a "financial report"? As an AIVF member, I'd like to know 
what are our monthly expenses, and I'd like to have some idea 
of how much money comes into the organization, where it 
comes from, and where it goes. 

3. From now on, I'd like the minutes from your Board 
meetings to e sent to me. Can you please send them? Thanks. 

I hope this information will help you in establishing regional 
chapters. Once again, I'd be glad to help in any way. Just let 
me know. 


Joyce T. Z. Harris 


Janet Maslin 
The New York Times 
229 West 43 Street 
New York, NY 10036 

Dear Ms. Maslin: 

The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) 
is a national trade association representing independent pro- 
ducers. As you can imagine, we were very pleased and 
gratified to see that all of the United States films selected for 
presentation in the New York Film Festival were the work of 
independent producers. 

New York Film Festival selection has come to represent — in 
addition to public exposure — critical review by The New York 
Times. For this reason, we were very disappointed that the 
Festival screening of Stations of the Elevated by Manfred 
Kirchheimer went unreviewed by The New York Times, not- 
withstanding your careful review of the companion piece 
scheduled with Stations. 

I am unaware of any other Festival entry that went unreviewed 
by The Times. While, of course, The Times is not obligated to 
review any particular film, its consistent practice of reviewing 
Festival entries, and the public expectation that all Festival 
entries will receive critical comment from The Times, make 
this omission particularly distressing and unfair to us, not to 
mention Mr. Kirchheimer. 

I urge you to consider and review Stations of the Elevated. It 

would be my pleasure to help arrange a special screening of 
Stations at your earliest convenience. My thanks in advance. 

Very truly yours, 

Lawrence Sapadin 
Executive Director 



The 123rd Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers' 
Technical Conference and Equipment Exhibit was held the 
last week of October in the Los Angeles suburb of West Holly- 
wood. A record number attended the seminars and toured the 
exhibit, which featured on dispiay new technologies from an 
international host of manufacturers. Although many state-of- 
the-art techniques are costly and not readily available at 
present, there was much on hand to interest independent pro- 
ducers of film and video. 

Kodak, seeking to turn aside all challenges to its industry 
leadership, pulled several rabbits out of its corporate top hat. 
A modified print stock, 5384/7384, is forthcoming. Intended to 
supersede the current 5383/7383 with no accompanying in- 
crease in price, it promises improved cyan-layer dye stability 
and should prove less susceptible to variations in processing. 
Also unveiled was a fast Ektachrome balanced for daylight. 
With an exposure index of 400 ASA, 7251 is perfect for 
daylight high-speed photography, for example, or low-key in- 
teriors lit for 5400° K with small HMI's or Cool Lights (see 
below). 7251 is color-balanced for 5400° K xenon projection, 
rendering it ideal for film-to-tape purposes. 

Kodak's biggest surprise, however, was certainly its introduc- 
tion of a much-rumored high-speed color negative, 5293/7293. 
Available in the spring of 1982, this wide-latitude emulsion 
boasts an ASA of 250 and a spectral sensitivity identical to 
5247/7247. Old and new share the same process: any lab cur- 
rently developing '47 can develop '93. Kodak clearly intends 
the two color negatives to complement one another, much as 
Plus-X and Double-X in black-and-white. The new product con- 
tains more silver than '47, and the odds are that it will be more 
costly. This will be more than offset by the greater economies 
of lighting afforded the cinematographer, who will find her or 
himself at competitive advantage with regard to "electronic 
cinematography" (more on this later). 

Speaking of lighting, Cool Light Company, Inc. exhibited a line 
of lightweight, extremely efficient tungsten light sources that 
are ideal for low-budget use. Each unit features a pyrex reflec- 
tor coated with dichroic crystals that reflect visible 
wavelengths of light while passing ultraviolet and infrared, or 
heat, out the rear of the lamp house. The result is an ap- 
preciably lower working temperature in front of the fixture. In 
addition to the standard dichroic reflector, a special dichroic 
reflector that reflects only higher color temperatures is 
available to convert the 3200° K tungsten to 5400° K without 
the need for filtration. This series features the Mini Cool, a 
featherweight fixture housing lamps from 85 to 250 watts, the 
Cool Nine Light with a choice of 600 or 650 watts per bulb, and 
the Cool Starlight at 1000, 1500, and 2000 watts. All units can 
be plugged into the wall to provide cheap 5400° K for outdoor 
fill, indoor mixing with HMI's, or replacement of HMI's with 
their ballasts and flicker constraints altogether. 

Rosco, the filter company, demonstrated a novel, low-cost fog 
and smoke machine that represents quite an improvement 
over conventional bee smokers. About the size of a six-pack of 
beer, the unit uses a specially formulated liquid that contains 
no mineral oil or petroleum-based products. It is OSHA- 
approved and leaves no residue on nearby surfaces. The 
"smoke" can be mingled with dry ice vapors to concoct a 


gloomy fog for spooky gravesite props, or it can be used alone 
to fill a room with a diffuse, atmospheric mist that mutes 
colors, softens edges, and makes visible shards of light for an 
accomplished photographic look. 

Camera companies showed little that was surprising. One ex- 
ception was Arriflex, which displayed a Super-16mm SR, ap- 
parently the only one of its kind. It employs standard SR 
magazines, but the body itself is not convertible back to 
regular 16mm. Arri is making the camera available on a limited 
basis and will wait to evaluate the market further before com- 
mitting additional SRs to the larger format. 

Aaton demonstrated its extraordinary Clear Time Recording 
system at the exhibit, establishing itself as the first camera 
manufacturer offering 16mm time code in the United States. 
Central to the system is an on-board camera microprocessor 
that keeps time and records "events" such as start and stop. 
As each frame is pulled down past the aperture, the year, 
month, day, hour, minute and second are recorded on the 
edge of the film by an array of miniature diodes. These data, 
printed in legible alpha-numeric characters, repeat every 24 
frames, or second of time. A Nagra, fitted with a special cir- 
cuit, exploits the pilotone signal to produce identical data, 
which is printed onto the 16mm perforated mag during 
transfer. The various cameras and recorders on a shoot are 
synchronized beforehand by a "master clock", and dailies and 
synched up by matching the film and mag edge numbers. 
Clapsticks and sound heads are eliminated in the synching 

Aaton's Scribe, which resembles in size and appearance a 
hand calculator, serves as an electronic scratch pad. As a 
shoot progresses, information such as camera #, shot#, take 
#, f-stop and whether a take is "OK" or "n.g." can be entered 
into Scribe's memory. At day's end, Scribe is connected to 
each camera and recorder to retrieve event data, e.g. start and 
stop times, which it then sorts and collates with keyboard- 
entered data to produce daily logs. This data can be displayed 
by CRT, listed by line printer for hard copy readouts, or 
relayed by telephone modem to a distant computer. The Aaton 
time code can be easily transcoded into SMPTE video time 
code, providing an avenue to shoot video double-system with 
its attendant advantages in mixing and fidelity. Further 
description of the possibilities inherent in Aaton's Clear Time 
Recording is beyond the scope of this brief review, but the 
economies of legible time code and data processing applied 
to film production speak for themselves and stand to benefit 
independent production first and foremost. 
On the lens front, no news was bad news. Affiflex could not 
say when the much-anticipated Zeiss 10-100mm T.2 would ac- 
tually become available. Angenieux displayed a prototype of a 
very fast 10-130mm zoom for 16mm. Considerably larger than 
the popular 12-120mm, it won't be noticed on the set for some 
time. Interestingly, consideration is being given to producing 
a Super-16mm version only. 

"A new world of filmmaking is opening up and 
Ikegami wants you to take part in it." 

That astounding statement was lifted from a brochure 
describing the EC-35 "electronic cinematography" camera on 

display by Ikegami and its American partner, Cinema Pro- 
ducts. The EC-35 is painted flat black, comes equipped with a 
serious-looking matte box, and resembles a CP-16 sans 
magazine. It represents a minor revolution in approach to 

Video sets are flooded with light because high-quality color 
pickup tubes are relatively slow, and key-to-fill ratios must be 
small in order to preserve relevant picture detail. Multi-camera 
setups, in turn, cover simultaneous master and clost shots 
and require satisfactory lightint from multiple angles. This 
suffices for game shows and sit-coms but is inappropriate for 
serious dramatic vehicles. Ikegami and CP have decided that a 
rethinking of the video camera is in order. The result is a 
device instantly familiar to film folk. The EC-35 sports a 
rotatable viewfinder, mounts easily on a tripod or dolly head, 
and by size and comportment permits a single-camera 
shooting style that encourages careful lighting on a shot-by- 
shot basis. Interchangeable prime and zoom lenses, specially 
designed by Canon and Fujinon to overcome back-focus prob- 
lems, are calibrated in T-stops. Unlike conventional video 
cameras, the iris can be used to vary depth of field; gain, or 
signal strength, control is accomplished elsewhere, the linear 
response of the 2/3" Plumbicon tubes has been altered so that 
highlights are compressed to contain detail in a manner 
similar to film, raising the possibility of 3:1 lighting ratios and 
something closer to that "film look." Conventional effects 
filters are suitable, and there's even a follow-focus knob for 
the focus puller! 

This camera has a very simple setup box (CCU), does its own 
setup automatically through microprocessor control, and is 
tailor-made for the skeptical cinematographer. The claim is 
put forward that original productions shot with the EC-35 will 
qualitatively match those originated on 35mm and transferred 
to video. Time will tell, but the writing's on the wall for quality 
original video production. 

In the same vein — although this has less bearing on current 
independent production — a system demonstrated by Com- 
pact Video of Burbank, California is worth brief mention. Com- 
pact Video reconfigured the standard NTSC 525-line, 30 
frames-per-second signal into a 655-line, 24 fps. modified PAL 
signal, sequentially scanned rather than interlaced 2:1. The 
idea is to explore the possibilities of electronically recording 
film-style images for distribution on film or via satellite to 
theaters equipped for electronic projection. By trading off 
frame rate for scan lines, Compact Video has kept the band- 
width of its high-fidelity signal within the spectrum 
capabilities of existing satellite transmission equipment. (This 
suggests commercial exploitation in the not-too distant 
future.) Special noise reduction techniques and a chroma 
bandwidth twice that of NTSC have contributed to what Com- 
pany claims is a usable 150% increase in overall definition. A 
large Bosch-Fernseh camera with a special 30mm Plumbicon 
tube achieves 800 horizontal lines of resolution, which is 
recorded on a redesigned Fernseh 1 " recorder running twice 
normal speed. The camera is outfitted with a single high- 
resolution zoom lens, but is designed for single-camera 
shooting utilizing sophisticated film lighting techniques. The 
result, dubbed ImageVision, ain't film, but a lot of people 
would be fooled. 

The other development in video cameras is the relentless 
shrinking of size and weight concomitant with the develop- 
ment of broadcast quality on-board recording. This, of course, 
would cut the conventional video camera from its umbilical 
cord, like crystal synch freed the film camera. Of keen interest 
was RCA's Hawkeye with its newly developed high-perfor- 
mance 1 /2 " VHS pickup tubes and Vz " VHS videocassette 
recorder, all weighing slightly over 20 lbs.; Sony's Betacam 
with its 2/3" Trinicon tube, special Beta VCR, and weight of 18 

lbs.; and similar systems from Ikegami and Panasonic. Each is 
designed to record continuously for up to 20 minutes in an 
ENG context. While none are yet wholly available, even to the 
networks, this trend in design will prove popular and the 
resulting know-how will spill over into lower-priced systems. 

Animation Video exhibited a fascinating video animation 
stand. It resembles a conventional table with the video camera 
tracked on two vertical columns. The camera lens, which is in- 
tegral to the system, is a programmable zoom. Recording can 
be accomplished on any Va " or 1 " VTR. The animator 
specifies the video frame or frames to be recorded, and the 
VTR is automatically prerolled, then brought up to recording 
speed. Using SMPTE time code, the indicated frames are 
located on tape and "exposed." Although a bit expensive at 
the moment, this system is fast, simple to operate and well 
designed, and it produces beautifully articulated images. 

For those who consider film editing a more tactile endeavor 
than tape, Control Video and Ampex demonstrated their ver- 
sions of the "interactive CRT". Tagged Lightfinger and 
Touchscreen respectively, each is a CRT that displays a 
"menu" of tape edit commands, then executes the command 
as the operator touches a command on the surface of the 
CRT. Keyboards are avoided entirely. Each system operates 
on the principle of the interrupted light beam, much like the 
larger version that signals the supermarket door to open as 
one steps into its path. A series of tiny vertical and horizontal 
beams form a brid pattern barely above the screen, and as the 
finger enters the grid, its location is matrixed and matched to 
the underlying word or words. With obvious applications in 
many areas of information display, pointing a finger at what 
one wishes — if childlike — is fun. 

There were many units in display throughout the exhibit that 
from a distance resembled 16mm flatbed editing machines, 
but upon close inspection revealed themselves to be hybrids, 
like KEM's table for editing sound tracks against a video im- 
age on a monitor mounted above the table. Several featured 
flatbed-style film transports and optics tied into video 
cameras for quick-and-dirty transfers, notably the Videola by 
Moviola. What particularly struck this observer throughout the 
three days of the exhibit was the extent to which video 
systems from cameras to animation to editing are coming 
under the influence of film technique, while at the same time 
film is increasingly influenced by video, e.g. Aaton's time- 
code system and the growing use of video tapes for instant 
display of film camera images. Some even tout "electronic 
cinematography" as the economically superior method of ob- 
taining original images for film distribution, others 16mm 
negative transferred by means of telecine using CCD tech- 
nology as a superior method for video. It's clear that once the 
dust settles, a mesh will be apparent; both technologies rep- 
resent a means to the same end, and both, in their distinct ad- 
vantages over one another, are complementary. 
The year 1981 marked the 30th anniversary of commercial 
color broadcasting. Video has certainly come a long way since 
the early days when studio monitors had to be filmed because 
no one had yet invented the videotape recorder. Economics as 
much as technology has determined the present-day sophisti- 
cation of video, and economics will continue to redefine the 
role of film vis-a-vis the future of the industry. Perhaps an apt 
symbol resides in the fact that the 123rd SMPTE Technical 
Conference and Equipment Exhibit was held at the Century 
Plaza Hotel, the site of which was carved in the mid-60's from 
the backlots of Twentieth Century Fox, the very grounds 
where Shirley Temple once romped with Bill Robinson though 
ersatz Southern mansions. To clear the way for additional real 
estate development, the studio itself — with its cavernous 
sound stages that are both up-to-date and historic — is soon 
slated for the wrecking ball. 


by Sandy Mondelberger 

While pay cable television has captured the lion's share of 
media and consumer attention, it is basic cable that may hold 
the most promise for innovative, alternative programming. 
Basic program services are those that are made available to 
cable system subscribers as part of the basic service provided 
for a monthly subscription fee (generally between $5 and $10). 
With the dual development of domestic satellite communica- 
tions and urban-based cable systems able to deliver 40 or 
more channels, basic cable has become a natural market for 
programming distributed by satellite. Following the bold step 
of Home Box Office — which has become the largest, most 
profitable cable service — satellite networks have developed 
as audience-reaching, (relatively) inexpensive supplements to 
locally-produced programming. 

Users of these satellite networks break down into three 
groups: cable service providers (i.e. HBO, USA Network, 
ESPN) who lease time directly from satellite owners (RCA's 
SATCOM I or Western Union's WESTAR III); satellite 
"brokers" who lease time to commercial entities or to non- 
profit and government organizations for a basic fee (i.e. com- 
mercial: Satellite Program Network; non-commercial; Public 
Service Satellite Consortium, Appalachian Community Service 
Network); and "superstations", which are commercial broad- 
cast television stations available to cable systems nationwide 
via satellite transmission (i.e. WTBS, Atlanta; WOR, New York; 
KTVU, San Francisco). 

The multitude of available channels, plus the "instant" 
national network created by satellite distribution, have ignited 
an abundant need for original programming. Marketed as an 
alternative to "free" commercial television, with anywhere 
from 3 to 24 hours per channel to fill, basic cable is develop- 
ing programming formats which promise to be a boon to the 
cable producer and viewer alike. Similar to the development of 
commercial radio, cable is being utilized for what it does best: 
reaching a targeted audience via a network of specialized pro- 
gramming (referred to as "narrow-casting"). In cable's short 
history, there have appeared actual and planned narrow-cast 
developments in: children's programming (USA Network's 
Calliope; Warner-Amex's Nickelodeon and Pinwheel); sports 
(ESPN, USA Network); arts and culture (CBS Cable, ABC Video 
Enterprises' Arts); foreign programs (ENglish Channel, 
Telefrance USA); and targeted communities (Black Entertain- 
ment Television, and Christian Broadcasting Network). 

ICAP feels that there are tremendous possibilities for inde- 
pendent film and video in these specialized markets. Since 
1975 we have been successful in placement of original works 
on both pay and basic cable services. We have demonstrated 
an important precedent — that independent productions 
enhance programming services and build audience recogni- 
tion. Now able to reach a wide-ranging audience, the indepen- 
dent producer can expect greater television exposure and in- 
creased lease revenues based on growing subscriber counts 
and increased commercial advertising. While budgets are 
small in comparison to network television, there have been 
steady incremental increases in fees paid to producers as the 
industry attracts a greater percentage of American television 

Cable's identity as alternative television is particularly suited 
to independent productions characterized by varying running 
lengths, topic areas and genres; uncensored, freer expression 
and less reliance on "star" names or big budgets. Cable is 
open to experimentation, although documentaries and avant- 
garde work are still a hard sell. However, ICAP believes that 
this programming can attract and sustain an audience if 
properly packaged and publicized in thematic series and in- 
cluded in cable system program guides and audience feed- 
back surveys. Obviously, some works will attract a greater 
audience response than others, but on a 40-50-60 channel 
system, there is room enough for all acquired tastes. 

Recent developments and trends in the basic cable industry 
have created new potentials and problems for independent 
producers. As these national networks grow, and as commer- 
cial broadcast entities (i.e. CBS, ABC, Time-Life) enter the 
cable market to protect their primacy in the entertainment 
field, "numbers" and "audience shares" may become primary 
considerations. To attract larger audiences, hard-hitting, sub- 
jective or experimental programming could be neglected for 
more commercial "audience-pleasers". 

Into this complex arena comes the mixed blessing of advertis- 
ing. Most of the satellite cable networks are heavily soliciting 
(and for the first time, receiving) hefty corporate advertising 
contracts. Increased revenues means higher cable system 
programming budgets, and therefore, higher revenue return to 
producers. It also creates the opportunity for producers to 
become engaged in more ambitious in-house productions. 
There is a concern, however, that a significant tilt towards pro- 
gramming aimed to attract a mass audience will change the 
nature and original intentions of cable television. Regular in- 
terval advertising also brings up the issue of commercial inter- 
ruptions, and their effect upon the integrity of longer works. 
Cable networks generally follow a policy of "clustering" com- 
mercials at the beginning and end of shorter works (half-hour 
or less) and mid-point interruptions of longer works. At this 
point, it is unclear what control, if any, a producer can expect 
to have in determining where interruptions will be placed in 
his/her film. 

The great majority of cable networks current lease films and 
tapes on a non-exclusive basis, negotiating contracts for a 
number of airplays during the term of the contract (generally 
1-2 years). Cable sells itself as an audience convenience 
medium and has many more repeat cycles (5-15 plays per 
period) than network or PBS. Of late there have been increas- 
ing demands for exclusive rights by the cable system for all 
cable and broadcast television, and for exclusive (or first 
refusal) marketing to the home video technologies (video- 
cassette and videodisc). ICAP has traditionally advised pro- 
ducers to retain all rights to their product. Some systems are 
interested in retaining a "premiere window" (an exclusive 
premiere and repeats for the first three to six months), but 
should be prepared to pay for this exclusive. Non-exclusive 
contracts give the producer great control over his/her work 
and keeps the film in circulation for other program buys. 

These new cable networks have an insatiable need for new, in- 
novative and inventive programming. Opportunities abound 
for resale of: children's, sports and leisure, arts and perfor- 
mance, "issues", "portraits", live-action and animated shorts 
and quality independent features. Cable systems prefer to 
screen works in 16mm film or %" cassette. On the whole, 
cable systems will take on the costs of transfer from 16mm or 
%" cassette to 1 or 2 inch broadcast format. 


by Sandy Mandelberger 

The following is a list of names and programming needs of 
most of the major basic cable satellite network services. The 
information provided covers the areas of: program needs and 
formats, subscriber count and audience demographics, pro- 
gram airtime, associated costs or fees. Each of the systems 
has been appraised for its need and receptivity to indepen- 
dent programming. Future trends and programming plans 
have been included to illustrate the growing need for original 
programming to assure the success of these ventures. Inde- 
pendent producers should be aware of securing television 
(broadcast and cable) and music rights to all films that 
are submitted to distributors or to the systems themselves. 
Use of and compensation to unionized actors, technicians or 
musicians/composers is still an unresolved area. 


This joint venture between ABC Video Enterprises and 
Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Corporation is a 
satellite-delivered basic cable service devoted to the perform- 
ing and visual arts. ARTS began operations in April, 1981 with 
3 to 4 hours of arts programming 7 nights a week beginning at 
9 o'clock EST. Programming will range from full-length operas 
to jazz concerts, feature films to portraits of artists. Most of 
the first year's programming has been purchased from foreign 
sources. There is a healthy interest in independent features, 
shorts, and arts programming. However, at this point, ARTS is 
negotiating for exclusive cable/broadcast rights and first- 
refusal on home video. Information on license fees is un- 
available at this time. This is the pilot project for ABC Video 
Enterprises with ventures with Hearst Publishing, Westing- 
house & ESPN going on-line in the next few months. 


Recently expanded to 64 hours of programming per week, this 
non-profit satellite "broker" recently received a $410,000 grant 
from the NTIA to "stimulate public service use of satellite 
communications". ACSN has specialized in satellite transmis- 
sion of important non-profit industry conferences (such as the 
recent teleconference of the US Conference of Mayors live 
from Seattle) and home-instruction "telecourses" for college 
credit. ACSN is particularly interested in educational, 
"how-to" films and tapes, and material that could be used in 
an educational format. With an expected expansion into more 
than its current 13-state reach, ACSN expects to produce 
series and acquire programming for issue and Americana- 
related films/tapes. ACSN is collaborating with NEA to pro- 
duce a series on American folk arts. 


This specialized network distributes black-oriented program- 
ming (mostly feature films, musical specials etc.) for a weekly 
2-hour transmission on Friday nights. The service is adver- 
tising-supported and expects to increase its programming 
schedules. BET is interested in independent programming 

that is directed to a black market, and mainly interested in 
features and celebrity concerts. Programmers are not in- 
terested in social documentary or issue films. Future plans 
call for more sports and public affairs programming. All con- 
tracts are non-exclusive. BET will not underwrite production 


Cable's first 24-hour-all-news station is part of the media 
empire of Atlanta businessman, Ted Turner. CNN has set up 
news bureaus in 20 cities around the globe. Most program- 
ming used comes from in-house production or acquisition 
from other news agencies. As CNN grows and its "magazine" 
section expands, the possibilities of placing "hard news", 
issue, social documentary and "portrait" films increases CNN 
has expressed an interest in working with video news "str- 
ingers" and in material that is shot on location. 


USA Network's Calliope is a satellite-distributed children's 
series that reaches a potential audience of 4 million viewers 
(adults and children). Hosted by Gene Francis, Calliope's pro- 
gramming covers a broad range of topics and genres: live- 
action dramatic films, educational and "how-to" films, short 
animation and experimental works (particularly those with 
dynamic movement, sound and color). Calliope acquires all of 
its programming and has used independent film and video ex- 
tensively. Films and tapes must be of high quality and must 
communicate with the child (age range 7 to 14) on his/her own 
level. Calliope contracts are non-exclusive and cover a 2-year 
time period. 


CBS Cable is the network's first foray into cable television. 
Designed to reach the audience "between CBS and PBS", this 
satellite-delivered basic cable service will present performing 
arts and cultural programming in a variety of formats. CBS 
plans to produce in-house about 60% of its material. For its 
in-house production it has acquired the talents of some of the 
most talented production people in the field, including Merrill 
Brockway (producer-director of Dance in America), Roger 
Englander (producer-director of Young People's Concerts) and 
Jack Willis (producer of Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang 
and the groundbreaking Great American Dream Machine on 
PBS in the early 1970's). The remaining 40% acquisition will 
be drawn from foreign sources, new domestic material and in- 
dependent works. A half-hour series, Mixed Bag, is a potpourri 
of original & acquired works from independent sources. CBS 
Cable has expressed interest in independent film and video, 
particularly features and arts and performance programming. 
As of this writing, CBS is restricting its acquisition to works 
that are "virgin" — that have never appeared on broadcast 
television (including PBS) or cable television (including the 
pay cable systems). Contracts with CBS are non-exclusive, 
with provisions for a premiere "window" (a 6-12 month 
premiere exclusive, with rights to distribute to other systems 
afterwards). Payment for material is still being worked out. Op- 
portunities will increase when CBS expands its programming 
day sometime next year. 


CBN distributes programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 
with a specifically Christian orientation. Almost half of the 
programming is produced in-house or picked up from regional 
ministries. The network is carried on over 1,500 cable systems 
around the country. CBN is interested in independent work, 

particularly in the areas of arts programming, women and 
children's programs and issue documentaries. However, 
because of their point of view, the "message" of a film or tape 
takes on great importance. CBN is not interested in many 
avant-garde, subjective film or tape takes on great importance. 
CBN is not interested in many avant-garde, subjective works 
or works that advocate violence or sex. Advertising revenues 
and cable affiliate payment for the programming are the major 
sources of funding for acquisition of outside material. This 
could become a major resource for independents who 
specialize in family-oriented, "moral message" films and 


Advertising-supported English Channel, now carried by USA 
Network, is a unique mix of foreign product and domestic ac- 
quisition. Foreign material includes programs from England, 
Canada and Australia. Domestic material runs the gamut from 
social issue documentaries to subjective "portrait" films to 
music and dance performances. English Channel has been 
very receptive to independent film and video. Now reaching up 
to 4 million cable subscribers, it has been able to attract large 
corporate advertisers, including Volkswager, GTE and Exxon. 
Programs exceeding 30 minutes will be interrupted by com- 
mercials, but the programmers at English Channel are sen- 
sitive to preserving the integrity and flow of the complete 
work. Revenues are based on number of showings per period 
(average $30/min.) 


ESPN is a satellite-delivered 24-hour sports programming net- 
work reaching over 6 million cable subscribers around the 
country. Current programming consists of live and taped 
coverage of sporting events generally not featured on the 
commercial networks, with an in-house sports show called 
Sports Center, which is repeated several times a day. The net- 
work has purchased independent productions as "filler" be- 
tween sporting events. Generally a half-hour or hour length, 
this programming must be sports or leisure-related (i.e. films 
on boxing, skiing, running, swimming, mountain climbing etc.) 
ESPN is interested in "portraits" of athletic or sports figures, 
or documentation of a sports or competitive event that is a bit 
unusual (i.e. karate, bodybuilding, etc.) ESPN is planning to 
expand into various genres (original drama, game shows etc.) 
and to set up sports news bureaus around the country. At this 
point, ESPN is asking for exclusive marketing rights to the 
films it acquires. Fees vary based on the market value of the 
production and the terms of the contract (how many times will 
it be repeated, for how long a term, and whether it is shown at 
prime time). ESPN has been very successful in attracting large 
advertisers, including Proctor and Gamble and Anheuser- 


Warner-Amex Satellite's 24-hour video music channel 
premiered this summer for 4 million cable subscribers. 
Described as "AM radio for the eyes", MTV is a mix of record 
promotion clips, original productions, live and taped concerts 
and musical specials. Opportunities for original programming 
geared towards MTV's 14-35-year old audience range to exist, 
but budgets tend to be tight. Acquisitions of film, video or 
computer graphic material is a possibility in the future, after 
MTV tires of rerunning the promo clips it gets for free from 
record companies. The success MTV has had is attracting 
major advertisers assures its continued growth. 


Warner-Amex's children's programming network, Nickelo- 
deon, provides 12-13 hours of programming a day which is 
seen by over 3 million homes. Although programs are con- 
sistently repeated, this service is hungry for independent pro- 
gramming from outside sources. Programmers are looking for 
films and tapes that relate to the child on his/her level, and are 
supplementary to their school education (generally the range 
is between 3rd and 8th grade levels). This would include: 
original dramatic works, music and performance, educative 
films (as opposed to educational), travel and nature films, 
sports and leisure films and live action/animated shorts. Fees 
are negotiable for non-exclusive unlimited runs over the 
course of 2 years. Nickelodeon also includes some ongoing 
children's series: Livewire, produced by Video Trends; Pin- 
wheel, a children's series directed to the preschool (ages 2-6) 
audience; and programs produced at Warner Amex's QUBE 
system in Columbus, Ohio. Each of these series uses film 
material for specific segments. 


SPN is one of the leading satellite "brokers" for commercial 
programming. Currently broadcasting on 2 satellites (SAT- 
COM I and WESTAR III), the network charges the program pro- 
ducer for satellite airtime, but the producer may then sell 
advertising time within the program. Rates vary dependent 
upon the time of day and repeat frequency. Prices range from 
$1000 per hour for prime time to as low as $400 per hour for 
off-hours if there is a weekly repeat for 4 months. A one-time 
special could cost anywhere from $1500-2000. 

SPN defines itself as a "family viewing" network which 
reaches over 3 million cable homes. The network follows a 
policy of "counter-programming": presenting material not 
available anywhere else at unconventional times and in 
unusual formats. Programming could include: arts and perfor- 
mance, social documentaries, portrait and issue films, original 
drama and features, travel and nature films, children's and 
women/minority films. They will not air material of a "ques- 
tionable nature". Examples of series that currently air on SPN: 
The Paul Ryan Show, produced on a local origination channel 
from Theta Cable in Los Angeles; Telefrance USA, a nightly 
section of the best films and television from France. This 
coming year, SPN will shift its emphasis to women's and 
children's programming, and has several projects of that 
nature in the works (not as in-house productions but as ad- 
supported individual program or series buys). 


PSSC, founded in 1975 to assist public service organizations 
to deliver their messages more efficiently utilizing satellite 
technologies, is a national, nonprofit satellite "broker". The 
Consortium provides consultation, arranges networks for 
video and audio distribution, and presents suggestions for 
cost-effective use of media. PSSC offers transmission of con- 
tinuing educational and instructional prorams through the 
National Satellite Network, health education programs dis- 
tributed live via satellite, video teleconferencing and trans- 
mission of health education programs distributed live via 
satellite, video teleconferencing and transmission of live 
events. Members of PSSC include: the American Heart 
Association, New York Institute of Technology, the Associa- 
tion of Hospital Television Networks and 110 other organiza- 
tions. PSSC membership is open to non-profit education, 
business or government organizatons only. Documentaries 
and social and portrait films would work very sell in this 



The second joint venture between ABC Video Enterprises & 
Hearst Publishing will be a women-directed daytime service 
that will cablecast mostly original programming for 6 hours a 
day. Daytime will collaborate with special-interest magazines 
to produce series programming about cooking, grooming, 
housewares, etc. 


Touting themselves as the "second generation of pay-TV", 
RCTV's schedule will be a mixture of highbrow cultural 
events, popular cultural programs and programs imported 
from the BBC in England. RCTV will be producing most of its 
own programming, but will be open to acquisitions for its 
children and shorts programming slots. Rates are yet to be 


The metamorphosis of Rainbow Productions' current 
ESCAPADE service, this pay cable service will rely on a mix- 
ture of originally produced and acquired action/adventure and 
soft-core films. 


The news service designed to compete with the succssful 
CABLE News Network, this news update service from two 
broadcast heavyweights will have magazine-type segments for 
which they may acquire independent programming. Stringers 
and on-location personnel for the bureaus planned for the ser- 
vice will be needed. 


Like ESPN, the forte of USA Network is live sporting events 
during prime time hours. Each night is usually devoted to a 
different sport, such as Thursday Night NBA and Monday 
Night NHL. Currently reaching 6 million cable homes, USA 
Network is growing to be one of the most varied and commer- 
cially viable of the satellite networks. With initial program- 
ming from ICAP, USA is experimenting with programming 
slots between sporting events. Time-Out Theater will be leas- 
ing programs that are sports and leisure-related: portraits of 
athletes and sports figures, documentation of unusual sport- 
ing of competitive events (karate, motorcycle racing, weight 
lifting), "light" documentaries on sports and physical fitness 
and educational/historical films on the traditions of sports 
and competition. Night Flight, a weekly series of rock films 
and independently-produced music segments, has a healthy 
need for short musical programs with an eye towards the late- 
night youth audience. 


Superstations are independent commercial broadcast sta- 
tions that are transmitted via satellite to cable systems 
around the country. A local station now can become "super" 
by transmitting, commercials intact, far beyond the reach of 
its over-the-air signals. Like most large commercial stations, 
programming relies heavily on old movies, sporting events, 
syndicated programs and reruns of old series. Superstations 
currently use very little programming supplied by independent 
producers. Current superstations include WGH Chicago, 
WTBS Atlanta, WOR New York, KPIX San Francisco and KTVU 
San Francisco. 


by Helen O'Donoghue 

Ireland's film festival, held in Cork in October 1981, reflected 
through both film product and seminar discussion the state of 
Irish film. Several of the latest films made by Irish in- 
dependents were screened, and seminar discussion centred 
on filmmaking in Ireland in the light of the formation of an 
Irish Film Board. 

In December 1980 the Irish Film Board Act was passed by the 
Irish parliament. The Act has several aims: 

(a) The establishment of a Film Board. 

(b) Assisting and encouraging the development of a film in- 
dustry in the State. 

(c) Empowering the Board to provide funds for the making of 
films in the State. 

(d) It may also establish a national film archive and finance 
training in filmmaking. 

At one of the seminars during the Cork Film Festival, the Film 
Board Act was under scrutiny. Independent filmmakers ex- 
pressed hopes that a representative of the Association of 
Independent Producers of Ireland would be appointed to the 
Film Board and so safeguard their interests and needs. They 
fear that the available money ($4,100,000 to be distributed over 
an unspecified period of time) will go towards keeping the 
National Film Studios of Ireland (i.e. Ardmore, County 

Wicklow where John Boorman's Excalibur was made) in opera- 
tion. Since the Cork Festival, the AIPI has decided to boycott 
the Film Board to publicise these concerns. 

Sheamus Smith, managing director of NFSI, feels "that with 
the passing of the Film Act, Ireland for the first time will have 
incentives to bring foreign filmmakers here." He hopes that 
the board of the NFSI will inv1980 has been the 
Arts Council of Ireland's annual film script award. Radio 
Telefis Eireann (the national television network) has also pro- 
vided some financial assistance plus some training in film 
technique, since no formal film training facility exists in this 
country. Interestingly, the greatest financial infection for com- 
pletion of film projects has come from the British Broad- 
casting Corporation. 

Irish independent filmmakers have had to battle against a 
financially unfavourable climate and a mood of general apathy 
towards their craft for many years. The fact that they pro- 
duced films at all manifests their commitment to their art. 
They now need, and indeed deserve, a new era of financial pro- 
sperity so that the art and craft of filmmaking can flourish. 
Hopefully, a balance will develop where a profitable film in- 
dustry can exist side by side with, and even nurture, an in- 
digenous Irish filmmaking scene. 


Edited by Wendy Udell 
Compiled by Leslie Cocco/Foreign 

and Sian Evens/Domestic 

January and early February contain an exceptional number of festival deadlines. 
We have tried to compile the pertinent data on those of interest to independent 
producers. Never send your work without contacting the festival first to determine 
if there have been any changes. 

These lists have been put together with the help of Gadney's Guides, Bury's Direc- 
tory, and our office files. This material may be consulted in our office or purchased 
(see THE INDEPENDENT, vol. 4, no. 7). Your feedback on any of the festivals we 
review would be most helpful for future reference by other producers. Send your 
comments to Festival Bureau, FIVF, 625 Broadway, New York NY 10012. 


tinuous tour & screening in June. Contact EFLA, 43 West 61 
St., NY NY 10023, (212) 246-4533. Deadline for entries: Jan. 15. 
Open to all; films and tape of non-theatrical nature accepted. 
Length can vary from 1 to 110 minutes; fees vary accordingly 
from $50 to $110. Work must be available for purchase, rental 
or free loan in US, as winners are part of traveling exhibit tour- 
ing schools, libraries & universities. AFF is one of most 
prestigious festivals for educational, non-theatrical market. 
Winning blue or red ribbon a high honor. Also good place to 
pick up distributor. Film should be in 16mm. 

USA FILM FESTIVAL, March. Contact Jane Sallis, P.O. Box 
3105-SMU, Dallas TX 75275, (214) 692-2979. Deadline for en- 
tries: Feb. Sponsored by NEA, this important festival seeks 
short independent & student work in 35mm & 16mm. Produc- 
tion notes, synopises & stills needed for application. Viewing 
attracts over 8,000 to Bob Hope Theatre in Dallas, where 
"critic's choice" format places selecting critics onstage with 
winning films. 50 min. maximum. 

ITHACA VIDEO FESTIVAL, continuous tour. Contact Philip 
Mallory Jones, 328 East State St., Ithaca NY 14850, (607) 
272-1596. Deadline for entries: Feb. 15. Tapes of all genres ac- 
ceptable. International touring exhibition presents fine in- 
dependent video works to public in museums, galleries, 
libraries & schools. Work should be on Vz" or 3 A" cassettes, 
no longer than 30 min. Artists must give permission for 
duplication of work for tour. No fee. 

Expo/Tour Feb.-May. Contact Nick Manning, c/o BACA, 
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn NY 11238, 
(212) 783-3077. Deadline for entries: Jan. 10. Sponsored by NY 
State Council for the Arts & other national educational & arts 
organizations. Filmmakers with 16mm pieces less than 60 
min. in length welcome to enter 16-year-old event which 
attracts average of 250 entries, awards 50 finalists. Winning 
films tour US; judges' criticisms published to facilitate pub- 
licity. Fee: $8. Awards of $3,000 distributed among winners. 

Contact Diane Howe Eberly, 512 N. Florida Ave., Tampa FL 
33602, (813) 223-8286. Deadline for entries: Jan. 26. Sponsored 
by Arts Council of Tampa, festival open to anyone from 
Florida or Southeastern region. Awards of certificates & 

stitute of Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum, PO Box 7260, 
Richmond VA 23221. Deadline for entries: Jan. 15. Video 
artists of Southeast invited to show works in professional set- 
ting. Selected works viewed as part of ICA series Videoworks 
1981-82 on Mar. 26-28. Entries must be on %" tape cassettes 
& no more than 30 min. 

WRITING COMPETITION ("Focus"), Apr. 13. Contact Tina 
Ferleiter, 1140 Ave. of Americas, NY NY 10036, (212) 545-0270. 
Deadline for entries: Feb. 2. Best-known college film festival, 
sponsored by Nissan Meter Corp., EMI Films, National Lam- 
poon & others. Features student work in 16mm. 30 min. max. 

24-Mar. 17. Contact Kathy Feild, Film Expo, 1300 Canyon Rd., 
Santa Fe NM 87501, (505) 983-1207. Deadline for entries: Jan. 
15. Entries restricted to 16mm, not previously viewed in a 
festival. Open to US & Canadian filmmakers. No fee. 

SACRAMENTO FILM FESTIVAL, Mar. Contact Sacramento 
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 917 7th St., Sacramento 
CA 95814. Deadline for entries: Jan. All forms & subjects of 
16mm work by independents welcome. $10 fee. 

FILMSOUTH, Jan. Contact Alfred Schmitz, Converse College, 
Spartansburg SC 29301, (803) 585-6421. Deadline for entries: 
Jan. Intended to promote regional work in Super-8, 8mm and 
16mm, Festival invites Southeastern amateurs, students of all 
ages & independents. 30 min. max. 

KENYON FILM FESTIVAL, Feb. Contact Phillip A. Hooker, PO 
Box 17, Gambier OH 43022. Deadline for entries: Feb. Open to 
any independent working in 16mm; festival running since 
1965. 60 min. max. 

Michael Real, Community Video Center, Dept. of Telecom- 
munications & Film, San Diego State Univ., San Diego CA 
92182, (714) 265-6575. Deadline for entries: Feb. 1. Any %" 
videocassette on subject of Culture & Communications ac- 
ceptable for consideration. Fee: $10. Selected entries may be 
cablecast. Small stipends awarded. 

Films Festival), Apr. Contact Susan Braun, 250 West 57 St., 
Rm 2201, NY NY 10107, (212) 586-2142. Deadline for entries: 
Feb. Held to aid independents in distribution of all types & 
lengths of 16mm, V2 " & % " cassettes on dance. Work should 
be available for general distribution. 

Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1700 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City OK 
73111, (405) 478-2250. Deadline for entries: Feb. Both film & 
video entries accepted, as well as variety of other media, 
which relate to theme of the Old West. 

Henderson, 1245 Champa Rd., PO Box 17508, Denver CO 
80217, (303) 825-1897. Deadline for entries: Feb. Open to 


residents of Colorado. Festival recognizes work in 35mm, 
16mm and %" transfers of work done in film (for viewing 
only). Entries must not have been entered in Denver Int'l Film 

month. Contact Charles Jenulevich, SGS, Middle Collegiate 
Church, 50 East 7 St., NY NY, (212) 477-0666 or 260-2123. No 
deadline. First come-first served. All filmmakers welcome to 
bring Super-8 or 16mm films. 

Raugh, 25 West 45 St., NY NY 10036, (212) 288-4165. Deadline 
for entries: Jan. 7. This festival petitioning work in all forms of 
animation from eel to stopped. Submissions should be in 
16mm, any length. Fees vary from $30 to $40. Winners sent to 
San Francisco for possible entry in International Tournee of 
Animation & to ASIFA-Hollywood for screening. 

touring for 2-3 years. Contact Prescott Wright, 4530 18th St., 
San Francisco CA 94114, (415) 863-6100. Deadline for entries: 
Feb. Most prestigious showcase of animated shorts in US, 
sponsored by ASIFA. 15 pieces in 16mm and 35mm, no longer 
than 15 min. each, selected to tour universities, museums, art 
theatres & societies in Americas. Promotional material & stills 

ANN ARBOR 8MM FILM FESTIVAL, Feb. 17-19. Contact 
Gerald Fialka, c/o Ann Arbor Film Cooperative, PO Box 7592, 
Ann Arbor Ml 98107, (313) 769-7787. Deadline for entries: Jan. 
Oldest 8mm Film Festival in US, aimed towards both 8mm & 
Super-8. No restrictions on length. 

June. Contact American Film Institute, JFK Center for Per- 
forming Arts, Washington DC 20566. Open only to video 
students enrolled in post-secondary institute during 1981 &/or 
'82 academic year. Over $100,000 in SONY (the sponsor's) 
video & audio production equipment. Documentary, informa- 
tion, dramatic & experimental categories. Entry deadline: Feb. 

Non-competitive section of NATIONAL VIDEO FESTIVAL pro- 
grammed by invitation only. Last year's festival (the first), 
directed by James Hindman, was great success as celebration 
of state of the art, got good publicity. This year's theme will 
be performance video. FIVF's John Greyson has been asked 
to participate as consultant, is accepting written materials 
about appropriate tapes from AIVF members. No tapes please. 

VISUALIZATIONS GALLERY, Mar. 22-29. Contact Visualiza- 
tions Gallery, 130 West 72 St., NY NY 10023, (212) 873-4009. 
Deadline for entries: Feb. 15. Week-long festival accepts wide 
variety of work by independent artists, including documenta- 
tions & performances. Vz" & 3 A" accepted, as well as film 

tact Dan Lloyd, 800 Chesnut St., San Francisco CA 94133, 
(415) 771-7020. Deadline for entries: Feb. Send work in Super-8 
& 16mm, 35 min. max. Small fees & cash prizes. Emphasis on 
"film as art". 

Contact Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, PO Box 54700, LA 
CA 90054, (213) 660-3450. Deadline for entries: Jan. Films or 
tapes on subject of the multi-handicapped individual ac- 

FESTIVAL, Apr. Contact AOTA, 6000 Executive Blvd., 
Rockville MD 20852, (301) 770-2200. Deadline for entries: Jan. 
Films in 16mm on subject of health & rehabilitation should be 
no longer than 30 min. Fee of $40= 

Dodge, PO Box 623, Middlebury VT 05753, (802) 388-2598. 
Deadline for entries: Jan. 31. Sponsors invite 16mm work, 60 
min. max., on any subject that illuminates non-English- 
speaking cultures. Festival may buy prints of winning entries 
for distribution to foreign language teachers. More than 8,000 
attend New York City opening. 

BIG MUDDY FILM FESTIVAL, Feb. 2-7. Contact Dept. of 
Cinema & Photography, S. Illinois University, Carbondale IL 
62901, (618) 453-2365. Deadline for entries: Jan. Since 1979, 
Big Muddy's purpose is to expose independent filmmakers to 
possible funding & create exchange of ideas. Open to 
students, amateurs & independents. Small fees & prizes. 

RIVER CITY ARTS FESTIVAL, Apr. 16-17. Contact Arts 
Assembly of Jacksonville, 632 May St., Jacksonville FL 32214, 
(904) 633-3748. Formerly Jacksonville Film Festival, now part 
of 21-year-old multi-media arts festival sponsored by com- 
munity & city government of Jacksonville. Deadline for en- 
tries: Feb. 14. Open to all, Festival accepts Super-8 and 16mm 
work of 30 min. or less length. Fee of $15-20. Cash prizes of 
$100-$500 awarded. 

FESTIVAL, Mar. 24-28. Contact University Station, PO Box 
2641, Birmingham AL 35291, (205) 323-5341. Deadline for 
entries: Jan. Established 1973 to encourage use of creative 
educational media. Accepts both video & film up to 60 
minutes. Fees: $25-30. Awards: $150-600. 

Dr. Alan Stephenson, 4300 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland OH 
44134, (216) 398-2800. Deadline for entries: Jan. Categories of 
Elementary & Secondary. $20 to $40 fees for submission. 
Films should be in 16mm, under 45 min., & of classroom in- 

SANTA CRUZ VIDEO FESTIVAL, Feb. 22-23. Contact Open 
Channel, Peter Brown, PO Box 1273, Santa Cruz CA 95061, 
(408) 475-8210. Deadline for entries: Jan. 23. Open to all, this 
Festival attracts work by independents & community access 
groups. Theme: Community Reflections. Submissions should 
be non-instructional & in video. 

Hyde, Biograph Theatre Group, 2819 M St. NW, Washington 
DC 20007, (202) 338-0707. Deadline for entries: Jan. Semi- 
annual festival requests work from DC, MD & VA residents 
who work in 16mm. Entries screened by Biograph theatre, 
judged by audience response. 25 min. max. 


Australian International Film Festival for Children, April 6-May 
24. Contact: Ms. Eileen Sharman, Director. Australian Council 
For Children's Films And Television, Education Department of 
South Australia, Film Study Section, 164 O'Connell Street, 
North Adelaide, South Australia 5006, Australia. Deadline for 
entry: February 13. 

Short and feature films wanted for children between the ages 
of four and thirteen. Sponsor may negotiate for six-month 
lease of films in Australia. No entry fee. 

Avoriaz International Fantasy Film Festival, January 24-26. 
Contact: Promo 2000 Society, 33 Avenue Mac-Mahon, 75017 
Paris, France. Deadline for entry: January 15. 

Established to promote fantasy films in France. Only 35mm 
films with subtitles or two-page resume of the script are ac- 


Berlin International Film Festival — Film Market, Budapester 
Strasse 50, D-1000 Berlin 30, West Germany. Deadline: 
January 12. The market provides screening space and booths 
for commercial exchange at the festival. Fees are DM 120 for 
two hours of 35 or 16mm screening time, and DM 60/hour for 
video. Publicity and advertising available on request. The In- 
dependent Feature Project (212-674-6655) will probably have a 
booth, so if you plan to attend the market, you might want to 
touch base with them. 

Cartagena International Film Festival, March 4-10. Contact: 
Victor Nieto, Director, Apartado Aereo 1834, Cartagena, Col- 
ombia. Deadline for entry: January 31. Deadline for sales 
market: February 4. 

The purpose of this festival is to show quality work by interna- 
tional filmmakers. Feature films previously unshown in Col- 
ombia; in original language with Spanish subtitles are eligible. 
There is also a non-competitive section for information films. 
Free screening rooms are provided for those interested in the 
sales market of the festival; films must arrive by February 18. 
Entry fee is $200 for feature film category. 

Espaces Days of Cinema in Marge, January 30-February 23. 
Contact: O. Ceresa, Vice Director, Hirschengraben 22, 
CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland. Deadline for entry: January 10. 

A competitive festival for independent 16mm and Super-8mm 
films by young filmmakers. 

Horoshima International Amateur Film Festival, July 29. Con- 
tact: Mayumi Hirabayshi, Secretary, Chugoku Broadcasting 
Company, 21-3 Motomachi, Hiroshima City (730), Japan. 
Deadline for entry: January 31. 

The purpose of this film festival is to present amateur works 
dealing with themes of peace and humanity, which are twenty 
minutes maximum in length. One entry per person. Competi- 
tion winners in other Japanese film festivals aren't eligible for 

Movie Maker Ten Best Amateur Film Competition, August 24. 
Contact: Tony Rose, Movie Maker Magazine, 85 High Street, 
Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP1 3AH, England. Entry Deadline: 
January 3. 

The competition is held at the National Film Theater in 
London, and as a British traveling exhibition. Copyright 
clearance is required of all entries since the sponsors may 

reproduce the entries at their own expense, and make winners 
available for public exhibitions. 

Oberhausen International West German Festival of Short 
Films, April 24-29. Contact: Wolfgang Ruf, Director, 
Grillostrasse 34, D-4200 Oberhausen 1, West Germany (RFG). 
Entry deadline: January 20. 

Established to present new trends in international filmmaking. 
This well-respected competitive festival accepts short, 
documentary and animation films in English; two years old 
maximum, unshown in competition at other international 
festivals, unshown on West German television, and 35 
minutes maximum. Preliminary selection at Goethe House 
New York, German Cultural Institute, 1014 Fifth Avenue, New 
York, NY 10028. 

Paris International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantasy 
Films, March 10-21. Contact: Association Ecran Fantastique, 9 
Rue du Midi, 92200 Neuilly, France. Deadline for entry: 
January 30. 

The festival is devoted to greater knowledge and distribution 
of the genre. Entries must be 35mm features not released in 

Rotterdam-Antwerp Film International, February. Contact: 
Hubert Gals, Director, Rotterdamse Kunststichting, Kruisplein 
30, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Deadline for entry: January. 

Established in 1972 to bring international films into the 
Netherlands. This non-competitive festival accepts features 
and documentaries (in 16mm and 35mm) which are shown in 
non-profit theaters in the Netherlands. Filmmakers' atten- 
dance is requested. Rotterdam is reputed to offer a congenial 
atmosphere, good for idea exchange. Possible distribution in 
Netherlands and Belgium theaters and television, remitting a 
portion of box office rentals to filmmakers. No entry fee. 

Contact: Postfach 35, 
Austria. Deadline for entry: 

Viennale, March 24-April 1 
Rathausstrasse 9, 1082 Vienna, 
January 20. 

Designed for the continuity of cinematic art on a non- 
competitive basis. It is recognized by the IFFPA and spon- 
sored by the Austrian Filmmuseum. Feature or short films 
previously unshown in Austria are eligible for entry. Script is 
required for films without German subtitles. Postage is paid 
by the festival. 


The Film Fund, an organization providing grants for the pro- 
duction and distribution of films, videotapes, and slide shows 
on social issues, recently awarded $88,150 to fifteen projects. 
Approximately 420 proposals were reviewed by a screening 
panel composed of Dave Davis, Loni Ding, Chris Spotted 
Eagle, Gayla Jamison, Valeria Lee, Carlos Penichet, Jackie 
Shearer, Charles Sherwood and Sue Thrasher. The following 
producers and projects were selected: 

James Gambone, Agent Orange: A Story of Dignity and Doubt 

($3,000); Michael Chin and Emiko Ormori, Faulty Diagnosis 
($3,000); Helena Solberg-Ladd, From the Ashes: Nicaragua 
Today ($10,000); Rob Epstein, Frances Reid, Greta Schiller and 
Lucy Winer, Greetings from Washington, DC ($4,350); Peter 

Lowy, A Guide to Gay Film ($1,500); Lucy Phenix, Highlander: 
Unearthing the Seeds of Fire ($6,000); The Independent 
Feature Project, The Independent Feature Catalogue (3,500); 
Meg Switzgable, In Our Water ($5,000); Jeffrey Schon, Office 
of the Future (3,000); Robert Richter, Pesticides and Pills: For 
Export Only ($10,000); Tami Gold, Prescriptions for Change 
($6,000); Bonnie Friedman, The Last to Know ($8,000); Jacki 
Ochs, The Secret Agent ($12,000); Mark Lippman, To Have and 
to Hold ($3,500); and Lynn Goldfarb, The Union Busters 

Guidelines for applications and dates of the next funding 
cycle are available from the Film Fund, 80 East 11 St., Suite 
647, New York, NY 10003. 

(reprinted from AfterimageJ 



Independent by Default — 
or by Choice 

by Marion Cajori 

The second International Women Filmmakers Symposium 
took place at the Directors' Guild of America in Los Angeles 
on September 14-18, with sessions on Working with the 
Studios, The Independent Film, Working in Television, 
Perspectives on Directing and Selling the Film. Organizer 
Kristina Nordstrom also directed last year's symposium in 
Thessaloniki, Greece, as well as the 1972 and 1976 Women's 
International Film Festivals. The symposium was sponsored 
by the Film and Video Workshop and supported by grants 
from Twentieth Century-Fox, the Mobil Foundation, NBC, 
Paramount Pictures and Warner Communications. Par- 
ticipants were selected by committee on the basis of their 
work in dramatic film. Approximately 80 women producers, 
directors, writers and cinematographers attended the week- 
long symposium, representing many states, and countries as 
diverse as Haiti and Iran. With the exception of Australia, 
where an enviable film industry and culture are developing, 
most of us have gravitated to the American film capitals, Los 
Angeles and New York City. 

Each morning and afternoon, symposium participants sat in a 
circle in a large conference room, dispensing with the usual 
infinitely long table and turning our backs to photographic 
portraits of the pipe-smoking, dour-looking and definitely all- 
male cast of past directors of the Directors Guild. On the first 
afternoon, we introduced ourselves as best we could, sharing 
commitment, humor and success stories until dusk. Subse- 
quent sessions were characterized by a despairing frustration 
over the paucity of opportunity for women filmmakers, which 
seemed entrenched in our misogynist society. By later in the 
week, however, this mood lifted as we began to define our 
stances, make friendships and build professional networks. 

Films were screened twice a day in the Guild's theatre and in 
another conference room. Under the constraints of a meager 
budget the symposium could not afford to rent the better pro- 
jection facilities of the theatre full time. Most participants 
travelled at our own expense and received no honoraria for 
screenings. In marked contrast to the industry's lukewarm in- 
terest in its own discriminatory practices, the press covered 
the symposium well, including a generous report by Linda 
Gross in the LA Times. 

At the symposium professionals learned of each other's ex- 
istence: producers met writers, directors met cinematog- 
raphers; many saw each other's work for the first time. It gave 
industry and independent filmmakers alike an opportunity to 
discuss the special problems the industry holds for us as 
women, as workers, as artists and as an audience, and to 
develop strategies to resolve them. 

Although every filmmakers present seemed concerned with 
progressive issues in terms of content of their work, few of 
the films showed deviation from conventional linear narrative. 
The few exceptions were seen as stylistic experiments rather 
than as critical contributions to the development of a political- 
ly significant alternative form. Perhaps due to a lack of after- 
screening discussion, little interest was expressed in ques- 
tions raised by feminist and independent filmmakers about 
female representation in the culture and the political reper- 
cussions of the relationship between what is meant and how 
it is expressed. 

The issue of social responsibility in filmmaking was forcefully 
raised by one of the regretably few women of color present at 

the symposium, and the greatest leftist consciousness was 
shown by self-described independents. Despite unanimous 
emphasis on women's participation in television, an informal 
split developed between independents and mainstream- 
oriented filmmakers over the kind of influence women would 
or could bring to bear upon the Hollywood system and its 
product. Mainstream women put much faith in the idea that 
the mere presence of women in the present structure would 
make the product for which they were responsible generally 
better and more sensitive to human relations and social prob- 
lems — this despite the fact that women executives in atten- 
dance claimed only the power to say "no". The power to say 
"yes" turned out to be the sole province of a man at the lonely 
top ahead of them all. 

According to these women who had attained a place in the in- 
dustry, the studios' short-term profit motives led them to rely 
heavily on precedents and not take risks with "unknown fac- 
tors" (read: women). The excuses the industry gave for not 
hiring women or distributing their work were that it was 
unsellable because it was too "soft" or too "personal", and 
that women couldn't be trusted to handle action. If they had 
worked admirably irrespective of the low budgets available to 
them, their ability to handle a multi-million dollar budget was 
questioned. Thus the idea that women would be capable of 
changing the ideological course of the image industry from 
within seems contradictory and fantastical, considering that 
in order to get into Hollywood, you have to do what it already 
does. Anyone with a different cultural and political vision 
doesn't seem to stand a chance, given Hollywood's need for 
precedents and the growing conservatism of this country. The 
group recognized this in moments of cynical lucidity, when we 
cackled over claims that "things were much better for women 

With very few exceptions, women had turned to independent 
production as a way out of long and frustrating years of work 
without being given any opportunity within the Hollywood 
system. Despite the evident success of independent filmmak- 
ing, many women perceived it only as a rite of passage 
necessary for proving themselves before graduating into the 
mainstream — not as an end in itself. The objective fact is 
that Hollywood still dominates the economy of distribution — 
the key to financial return and profits. This Catch-22 makes 
"going Hollywood" a bitter candy, but a candy nonetheless. 

Still, a commitment to independent production gathered 
momentum throughout the symposium, because it offers 
more freedom and control over the quality of work, not to 
mention the possibility of actually practicing one's craft. The 
hardships incurred by choosing this path are neither greater 
nor less than those encountered in the other. The three 
largest obstacles to independence perceived by the sym- 
posium participants were: 1) lack of access to distribution 
facilities; 2) fear of business transactions, which impedes im- 
aginative financing strategies; and 3) the individuated nature 
of independent activity. The symposium provided the begin- 
ning of a cure for these maladies. We began to recruit one 
another into the already ongoing efforts of many filmmakers 
and administrators to create an alternative aesthetic and 
economic system. The participants are now networking infor- 
mation about jobs, screenings and financial opportunities, 
and a national committee has been formed for the continua- 
tion of the International Women Filmmakers Symposium. 



by Richard S. Wyde 

(reprinted from THE SKY'S NO LIMIT) 

This article addresses some of the more functional aspects of the 
satellite marketplace, focusing on the current and future operators, 
their services and the costs for some of those services. It also suggests 
the means for implementing a satellite network and the likely costs for 
acquiring a transponder on each of several satellites. The article was 
originally written as a background paper for the Leftstar conference, 
held in Boulder, Colorado in August, 1981 to organize independent pro- 
ducers. The paper has been rewritten and updated for this publication 
in order to help make the marketplace better understood factually and 
therefore more usable for our readers. 

Companies that own and operate satellites have historically 
been regulated by the Federal Communications Commission 
(FCC) as common carriers under the Communications Act of 
1934. Like the telephone company, these carriers are required 
to provide first-come first-served, cost-based transponders 
(satellite channels) and/or uplink and downlink services. 

In addition to satellite owners, other entities lease 
transponder channel capacity, which they sublease to other, 
smaller users. These are either regulated as resale carriers 
(e.g., American Satellite Company) or not regulated even 
though they operate very much like carriers and also provide 
additional services. For example, the Robert Wold Company 
leases transponder time to users on an occasional (hourly or 
more) basis, and also provides production services for video 
or teleconferencing. These entities are distinguishable from 
such distributors as HBO or Showtime, which lease full or par- 
tial transponders from satellite carriers or resale carriers to 
distribute their own materials to CATV systems. 

The current satellite marketplace is relatively stable, with 
most C-band (6/4 GHz) satellites filled. These operators in- 
clude RCA, Western Union (WU) and Comsat (AT&T ( GTE). 
Satellite Business Systems (SBS) has launched 2 Ku-band 
(14/12) GHz) satellites that are slowly being filled by corporate 
users, largely for data and voice services. 


RCA Americom owns Satcom I, the satellite which provides 
primary programming services to the cable TV industry on 22 
transponders (Cablenet I) — the other two transponders are 
non-functional. When Satcom III was lost in December 1979, 
RCA arranged with Comsat and AT&T to use the Comstar D-2 
for its customers who had leased transponders on Satcom III. 
Comsat has co-located Comstar D-1 with Comstar D-2, and 
these two partially-operating satellites combine to operate as 
one 24-transponder satellite. 

RCA is planning to launch Satcom MIR as a replacement for 
Satcom l/Cablenet I in November 1981. Satcom IV will serve as 
a replacement for Cablenet II customers currently on the Com- 
star system; it will be launched in January 1982. RCA is ex- 
pected to provide the primary video services to CATV systems 
for the foreseeable future. This situation is likely because 
most of the 3,000 or so cable systems with single earth sta- 
tions will continue to point them at Satcom I, which broad- 
casts HBO's pay-TV service, the "superstations" and the 
other major cable programming services. 

In order for Satcom IV to emerge as the second major cable 
network, as RCA plans, several events must occur. First, the 
10 or so current customers on Comstar D-1/D-2 must be joined 
by 14 others so that the entire satellite is filled with program- 

ming desirable to cable systems. These systems are slowly in- 
stalling additional (usually second) earth stations to receive 
signals from a second satellite. RCA hopes that its mixture of 
programs will convince cable systems to point these addi- 
tional earth stations at Satcom IV. However, other current and 
future satellite carriers are vying for these second earth sta- 
tions. Western Union now operates 3 Westar satellites with 
transponders on each. Westar III is being touted as a second 
cable network by WU and Southern Satellite systems, which 
has been trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to offer program- 
ming to cable systems on this satellite. CBS Cable, Wold 
Communications, Granada International Network, Private 
Screenings (X and R films) and others are also signed up on 
Westar III. 

Hughes Communications Inc. has announced a plan to create 
a second cable network on its Galaxy I. Hughes calls its first 
24-transponder satellite, to be launched in May 1983, a "video 
shopping center". Eighteen of the transponders are being 
sold on a non-common-carrier basis to the types of program- 
mers which Hughes believes will induce cable systems to 
point their earth stations at Galaxy I. The effort to sell 
transponders has come under attack and is being subjected to 
FCC scrutiny at the present moment. If the Commission pro- 
hibits the sale of transponders, questions exist as to whether 
Hughes' video-shopping-center concept will succeed. 

Time Inc., owner of HBO, has purchased 6 transponders on 
Galaxy I. These will probably be used for new programming 
services, such as teletext and video programming offered on a 
pay basis or with advertisements. Group W Satellite Com- 
munications, owned by Westinghouse (which recently pur- 
chased Teleprompter, the largest American cable system 
operator), has purchased 4 transponders. The Times Mirror 
Corporation has purchased 2. 

Turner Broadcasting, owned by Ted Turner, has purchased 2, 
probably for his planned Cable News Network II. Viacom, a 
syndicator of television programming, half-owner of Showtime 
(the second largest cable programming service), and a CATV 
system owner, has also bought 2. Two more transponders will 
be sold on this satellite, and 6 will be leased on a preemptible 
basis to other users for programming for cable systems. 

Southern Pacific Communications Company (SPCC) will 
operate 2 satellites called Spacenet I and Spacenet II, to be 
launched respectively in February and October of 1984. 
Spacenet I and part of Spacenet II will be used to distribute 
programming to the CATV sub-market by the following com- 
panies: The Pop Network (5 transponders); Satellite Syn- 
dicated Systems (3); Wold Communications (2 or 3); Landmark 
Communications (2); Double B Enterprises (2); The Southern 
Baptist Convention (2); Bonneville International (4); Midwest 
Radio and TV (1); Spanish International Network (SIN) (1); and 
United Video (1). 

AT&T has signed up the National Entertainment Television 
Network Inc. for its experimental satellite video service. (See 
The Commercial Television Sub-Market, below for a descrip- 
tion of this service.) This San Francisco-based company will 
offer video programming services beginning in the Spring of 
1982 to CATV, and pay-TV and advertiser-supported TV pro- 
gramming to full- and low-power commercial TV, MDS and 
MATV outlets. 



At the present time, the receiving earth stations (dishes) 
owned by most cable systems are capable of receiving signals 
from only one satellite at a time and are pointed at SATCOM I. 
Some systems own second dishes presently pointed at Com- 
star D-2 which has approximately 1] cable signals, or Westar 
III. Or they plan to install second dishes to be pointed toward 
the future satellite or satellites with enough cable program- 
ming to warrant such an investment. 

The development of earth stations capable of accessing all of 
the satellites within 52° of the orbital arc could remove one of 
the major constraints on the satellite market serving CATV. 

Several manufacturers are presently selling such devices. If a 
cable system could install one earth station capable of receiv- 
ing 10 satellites' signals, cable programmers could lease 
transponders on most of the authorized satellites, thereby 
reducing the need to lease or buy transponders on the second 
cable satellite. These earth stations cost about $30,000, in 
contrast to single-satellite-receiving antennae which cost ap- 
proximately $8,000. 

Even though such antennae could access 14 satellites at the 
present 4° spacings, no single earth terminal could look at all 
the proposed cable birds (satellites) at once, since if Southern 
Pacific's Spacenet I is included at 70°, the farthest west the 
antenna could see would be 122° — thus excluding Westar V 
at 123 °, Satcom MIR at 131 °, and possibly the cable bird Sat- 
com IV at 139°. 

Satellites in the middle of the orbital arc could be accessed by 
antennae set up to receive signals from either extreme, 
however. These include Westar IV at 99°, AT&T's Telstar I at 
95°, Telstar II at 87°, WU's Advanced Westar at 91° and 
Southern Pacific's Spacenet II at 119°. Except for Westar IV 
and, to a certain extent, Spacenet II, however, these satellites 
have not been marketed as cable birds. The 2 inner lines 
radiating out from approximately 80° and 130° on the earth 
display the satellites that could be received from a single 
antenna pointed at the center of the orbital arc. 


Western Union's Westar I is used by PBS to transmit video 
signals to more than 150 earth stations and by NPR to 
transmit audio signals to over 200 NPR-affiliated stations. 
Four transponders are leased by CPB for public TV use. The 
main uplink is located in suburban Virginia, and several other 
uplinks are regionally located. These 150 earth stations are 
used by the public TV stations to receive video signals; in ad- 
dition, they are now usable by Western Union for commercial 
traffic. The FCC has authorized WU to split its revenues with 
CPB and the stations from which it derives such revenues. 

In essence, WU has a de facto monopoly over the satellite 
transmission of video signals to public broadcasting. 
However, it should be noted that the Wold Company and the 
Hughes TV Network lease occasional time from WU and 
sublease channel capacity to PBS when needed. Moreover, 
PBS is subleasing its spare satellite capacity to other users 
such as Blairsat, which distributes commercials to commer- 
cial TV stations. PBS also leases satellite time directly to in- 
dependent producers and distributors for transmissions to 


The three major commercial networks will continue to rely on 
AT&T terrestrial facilities for daily transmission of their com- 
mercial programming. However, AT&T has filed a tariff with 
the FCC to initiate an experimental 3-year satellite TV 
transmission service. Up to 5 transponders could be leased by 
one customer, as well as uplink and downlink services, begin- 
ning in the fall of 1981 (not coincidentally, when the RCA 
customers depart from the Comstar system). So far, NBC, 
CBS, ABC, the Wold Company and the National Entertainment 

Television Network have all signed up for the service. The 
FCC has recently found certain elements of the tariff 
unlawful, and AT&T has filed a revised tariff which should 
satisfy the FCC's concerns with the initial filing. AT&T's tariff 
will then go into effect, so that customers who have requested 
the service will begin receiving it shortly. The transponders in- 
itially leased will be on Comstar satellites and will be offered 
later on the Telstars which will be wholly owned and operated 
by AT&T. (Comstar is owned by Comsat and leased exclusive- 
ly to AT&T and GTE). 

One other significant aspect of AT&T's strategy is that it 
plans to phase out its full-time terrestrial video services as it 
integrates the networks into satellite services. The terrestrial 
video services will eventually be available only on an occa- 
sional or back-up basis. Thus, it is likely that a substantial 
number of AT&T's transponders will ultimately be leased to 
the major networks. 

Independent commercial networks are also beginning to use 
satellites to syndicate programming — for example, Post- 
Newsweek. More significantly, Group W, owned by Westing- 
house, will also use satellites to distribute programming to its 
own TV stations. In addition, Group W has proposed to use its 
spare transponder space to distribute its programming to 
other commercial stations and other programming to other 
stations. This project is known as Vidsat. 

Group W's recent arrangement with Western Union to lease 
and purchase 10 transponders on Westar IV and V, as well as 
its recent purchase of 4 transponders on Hughes Communica- 
tions' Galaxy I, will allow Group W adequate satellite capacity 
to distribute its programming and that of others. This pro- 
gramming could be delivered to commercial TV stations and 
other types of outlets, such as CATV and low-power TV sta- 
tions in the future. (Group W's merger with Teleprompter has 
been approved by the FCC, thus making Westinghouse owner 
of one of the largest CATV MSOs and half-owner of Showtime, 
the second largest pay-TV service to cable systems. If Group 
W has the capital to buy the second largest cable MSO, it will 
very likely wait until low-power stations emerge and develop 
into networks, and then buy one of them as well.) 

As discussed above, Wold and Hughes distribute program- 
ming on an occasional basis to independent commercial TV 
stations. They lease transponders now from WU and RCA, and 
Wold will be leasing space on the Comstar/Telstar and 
Spacenet systems. Wold is also using some of its transponder 
space for distributing programming to such independent TV 
networks as Cox Broadcasting, Spanish International Network 
(SIN) and Fisher Broadcasting. _ £ n( j p art | _ 








NEW YORK, NY. 10003 • (212) 228-4024 


Complete Crystal Controlled Systems 

Arri BL/Nagra 4.2 Package CP16R/Nagra III Package 

includes: 10-100 Zeiss zoom, two mags, two battery 

belts, Sachtler tripod, changing bag and 

recorder with headset and ATN 

includes: 12-120 zoom, handgrip, orientable viewfinder, 
two mags, two batteries, two chargers, NCE tripod, 
changing bag and recorder with headset and ATN 



Full range of 16mm/S8mm and Video 
Production and Postproduction Services available 

Call 673-9361 

Young Film akers/ Video Arts 

4 Rivington Street 
New York City 10002 

Bring this ad to YF/VA and receive a free copy of the Equipment Loan Handbook 


The newly-formed WINDOW Network, organized by indepen- 
dent producers to distribute programs via satellite to tele- 
vision everywhere (see THE INDEPENDENT, vol. 4 no. 7), held 
its third regional producers' meeting in San Francisco on 
November 1st. Over fifty local producers met with eight 
members of WINDOW'S steering committee at Video Free 
America to discuss the genesis of the new program service 
and how it can provide greater access to the airwaves for in- 
dependent producers. 

The steering committee had assembled in San Francisco from 
its other regional locations: New York, Boulder, Chicago, Los 
Angeles and Washington DC to produce a three-hour program 
special to test the waters and celebrate Halloween. Over a 
hundred producers were ultimately involved in the creation of 
this collage of music, comedy and documentary under the 
direction of Fabrice Florin and Videowest. Already existing 
material acquired from independent producers was mixed 
with specially produced segments, and held together with live 
wraparounds originating in a specially created "Video Crypt". 
Friends of Videowest were invited down in costume to com- 
plete the on-location Halloween party atmosphere. 

The show was broadcast live on San Francisco's PGS af- 
filiates, KQEC and KQED (which took only one hour), and then 
aired later in the week on PBS stations in Tampa FL, Boulder 
CO, Houston TX, Springfield MA, Madison Wl, and Annandale 

The San Francisco Halloween Special represents just one 
manifestation of the kind of programming the WINDOW Net- 
work hopes to provide with its programming service. Like 
September's New York production, it couldn't possible reflect 
the diversity of artistic vision and political sensibilities 
belonging to the independent community. 


by Wendy Udell 

While continuing its research and development, WINDOW will 
produce more guerilla television, surfacing in locations across 
the country and drawing on the talents of regional film and 
tape producers. The next event is scheduled for Valentine's 
Day 1982. if you have already existing work on the subject of 
love and human relationships or you can offer specific pro- 
duction services, or if you would like to host a producers' 
meeting in your local area, please contact your regional 

Remember. This is a Test. 


Oakland, California 
(415) 339-2312 


San Francisco, California 

(415) 957-9080 

Boulder, Colorado 
(303) 469-5234 

New York, New York 
(212) 473-3400/677-1280 

San Francisco, California 
(415) 957-9080 

New York, New York 
(212) 677-5966 

Boulder, Colorado 
(303) 469-5234 

Washington, D.C. 
(202) 797-8997 

Chicago, Illinois 
(312) 649-0370 


Los Angeles, California 

(213) 478-3089/478-3090 


Public Broadcasting has been told to "experiment" with 
advertising for the first time, and industry opinion ranges from 
enthusiastic optimism to resigned opposition. Following urg- 
ings from Congress and the FCC, the Temporary Commission 
on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications ap- 
proved the 18-month test which will commence before 
January 1, 1982, involving 10 volunteer radio and TV stations 
each. The guidelines limit the stations to two-minute ad 
clusters between programs, and prohibit editorial, political or 
religious advertising. 

While many radio stations have pledged vigorous non- 
cooperation ("The very nature of public broadcasting stems 
from its not owing its survival to commercial sponsors," says 
Bruce Therault of KRBD-FM), some of the larger TV stations 
are ready to get their paws wet (or dirty, depending on your 
viewpoint). Jay Iselin, WNET chief, spent much of a recent 
WNET Community Advisory Board meeting whipping up en- 
thusiasm for the experiment. As he saw it, the issue at stake 
was only the "quality" of the advertising, "good taste" being 
the key. Not many medium- and smaller-sized stations can af- 
ford to make such a distinction, since, as Warren S. Park, Jr. 
points out in the October 26 Current, the potential ad 
revenues (given their current viewer ratings) would barely 
cover their sales costs! Furthermore, the loss in public dona- 
tions and member support could potentially eliminate the 
profits the larger lucky few might make. 

Critics of the experiment call it too short and too narrow to 
draw anything but dangerous conclusions from. AIVF fired off 
a mailgram to the commission making its position clear: "The 
selling of public TV to commercial sponsors will reduce public 
accountability in a system built at public expense, curtail in- 
novation, and squeeze out independent producers — a prime 
source of non-commercial public TV programs." 


Sony estimates that five million homes have video recorders, 
and those five million owners must be watching the courts 
with increasing apprehension, to say the least. In two related 
copyright cases, a total of seven major movie studios in- 
cluding 20th Century Fox and Disney are suing. The first, filed 
November 8, 1981, involves a tavern in Kennebunkport, Maine, 
which had the affrontery to play a few pre-recorded pix like 
Smokey & the Bandit for its clientele; the second, dating from 
1976, challenges the right of one William Griffiths to even use 
his machine. 

The intent of the former case is to establish a ruling on 
"home" vs. "public" usage. The studios are claiming a loss of 
box office profits and royalties. The decision will affect the 
thousands of bars, clubs, motels and colleges involved in 
such closed-circuit screening practices. The case also has im- 
plications for video art venues who screen artists' work using 
"found" footage from the airwaves (don't say we didn't warn 
you, Nam June). 

The second suit, much broader in scope, has not only Griffiths 
but also the manufacturers and retailers (e.g. Sony, Henry's 
Camera Co.) standing trial for making such home recording 
possible in the first place. This October, the Federal Appellate 
Court of San Francisco reveresed the 1979 ruling on the case 
to establish that such home recording is a copyright infringe- 
ment, but the defendants quickly stated their intention to take 
it to the Supreme Court. 

If the decision is upheld, it will mean that five million 
homeowners have 40 pounds of potentially illegal technology 
in their living rooms. It will also mean that independents who 
broadcast or cablecast their work will be protected from (for 
instance) libraries who want to copy it off the air for the col- 
lection, instead of purchasing a print or dub. However, a ruling 
on "public" vs. "home" use, by itself (for recording as well as 
playback) would establish that. The Griffiths case conjures up 
scenarios of SWAT raids on zerox machines. Think twice 
before you photocopy this article for your great-aunt in 


If you hear the word "deregulation" one more time, you'll 
scream, right? The FCC is one more federal agency who's 
adopted this buzzword as its cri de guerre. On September 17, 
they urged Congress to eliminate the Fairness Doctrine, that 
shaky piece of accountability legislation which is hardly ade- 
quate as it is, but certainly better than nothing. 

This was the climate Henry Geller faced when he petitioned 
the FCC to require large-capacity cable systems — 30 chan- 
nels or more — to lease a percentage of the National Tele- 
communications and Information Administration, proposed 
the following quotas: 30-49 channels — 5-10%; 50-99 channels 
— 15-20% 100-plus — 20-25%. He explained the range as 
politically rather than economically or scientifically deter- 
mined, reflecting the necessity of diverse sources of informa- 
tion. It's a modest proposal, but faces tough going with a 
commission bent on washing its hands of just about any 

Interestingly, former FCC Chairman and practicing lawyer 
Newton Minow, who represented AT&T at the House Telecom- 
munications Subcommittee hearings on "Diversity" 
(September 15, 23), echoed the "common carrier" approach 
which is so virulently abhorred by the cable industry. His 
catch? Bell, like any other potential lessee, would have equal 
access to the system. Hmmm... Perhaps he things it's beside 
the point to compare the number of minutes Bell vs. an im- 
poverished community organization could afford to buy. 

Minow's version of what a common carrier can do fits in neat- 
ly with the overwhelming passage of Senate Bill 898 on 
October 7, which allows AT&T to compete in unregulated 
markets through separate subsidiaries, though they can't own 
cable systems or provide pay services. Several hotly-debated 
cable provisions were dropped from the bill at the last minute 
(much to the dismay of the Cable lobby), which would have 
substantially eliminated the regulatory power of cities and 
states over cable TV. Meanwhile, CBS and AT&T have an- 
nounced plans for a joint test of a videotex computer-based 
home-information system that will commence in the fall of '82. 
CBS will provide the software, Bell the hardware. A marriage 
made in heaven? Busy little buggers — as that long-distance 
feeling gets closer, it seems more and more like a game called 


Remember Low Power TV? Over 5000 license applications are 
on file at the FCC, yet the Commission has frozen all discus- 
sion on LPTV, and deleted the topic three consecutive times 
from their meeting agendas. Access magazine reports that 


Chairman Mark Fowler is strongly opposed to the implementa- 
tion of the new service, and probably won't move on it until 
the Commission's Report and Order on LPTV is released in 
early '82. They've estimated that it will cost at least $100,000 
to process the applications, which probably means they'll cry 
"budget cuts" as an excuse for further delay. 

Meanwhile, John W. Boler began originating programming from 
his LPTV station in mid-November, the first to be licensed in the 
nation. His was the first application the FCC received and the 
only one they've granted to date. Serving the 3889 residents of 
Bemidji, MN, he's combining local and national programming 
with an additional pay service that may include movies pulled 
from satellites. 


Pluria Marshall, executive director of the National Black Media 
Coalition, has called cable "the most racist part of the whole 
communications industry", asserting that it "doesn't deserve 
to be in your living rooms." His sentiments were echoed (more 
diplomatically) during Congressional hearings on minority 
enterprise by witnesses like Seattle Mayor Charles Royer, 
speaking for the National League of Cities. He called on Con- 

gress to ensure minority participation and ownership in cable, 
coming out strongly against monopoly control. 

This situation is being redressed — slowly. The Media Coali- 
tion maintains a list of "redneck" cable companies with 
discriminatory hiring practices. The newly founded non-profit 
organization Minorities in Cable attempts to match prospec- 
tive minority employees with cable companies. For the first 
time in Michigan, the state has awarded a cable franchise to a 
black-owned company: Barden Cablevision will service the ci- 
ty of Inkster. Diasporic cable is long overdue. 


Bravo! The Directors Guild of America has backed a voluntary 
boycott of film and TV production in fifteen states that have 
still not passed resolutions supporting the Equal Rights 
Amendment. ERA will be defeated unless three more states 
ratify it by June 30, 1982. The boycott will be an act of in- 
dividual conscience. Anyone doubting its effectiveness 
should consider the following: at least two directors, Michael 
Ritchie and Joseph Sargent, are dropping plans to shoot in 
non-ERA states, representing a loss of more than $1 million in 
location shooting for those areas. 


295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 


16mm & 35mm 


AIVF Forum 


The AIVF/FIVF Board met on November 3, 1981. Complete 
minutes are available from AIVF. The highlights of the 
meeting were as follows: 

Health Insurance Plan — Representatives of the Entertain- 
ment Industry Group Insurance Trust described a plan for 
membership health insurance coverage to the Board. The plan 
is underwritten by Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. and 
provides hospital/surgical, major medical, life insurance and 
accidental death and dismemberment coverage at reasonable 
rates and with a low deductible. The Board voted to offer the 
plan. Written materials and eligibility criteria will be worked 
out by the staff. 

Chapters — An AIVF member in Chicago, Joyce Harris, has 
expressed a strong interest in helping form an AIVF chapter 
for the Chicago area. The Board resolved to thank her for her 
efforts, and to assign the matter to the committee addressing 
the question of forming chapters. 

WNET/lndependent Focus — A committee was formed to 
monitor WNET's handling of the Independent Focus series, 
and to ensure that it is structured to select works through a 
peer panel and with the involvemnt of an outside coordinator. 

November 3, 1981 

Ad Hoc Committee on 

Program Fund Policies 

and Priorities 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
1111 Sixteenth Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20036 

Dear Ad Hoc Committee members: 

The Association of Independent Video and filmmakers (AIVF) 
is a national nonprofit trade association of independent pro- 

On July 23, 1981 AIVF addressed the full Board of the CPB to 
express its views and make certain recommendations con- 
cerning the policies and practices of the Program Fund. I 
would like today to resubmit that statement for the record of 
this Ad Hoc Committee — but with certain modifications. 


We reaffirm without modification our claim to the 50% of the 
Program Fund budget that Congress intended to be reserved 
for distribution to independent producers to for the produc- 
tion of programs. Congress, in the Public Broadcasting 
Amendments Act of 1981, recently reaffirmed its "current 
commitment to independent producers" (Cong. Record, 
H.5688, July 29, 1981). The House, which drafted both the 1981 
Act and its predecessor 78 Act, restated and clarified its 
intention that "50 percent of (national program funds) be 
reserved for distribution to independent producers and pro- 
duction entities" (House Report No. 97-82 at 21). 

Even at its most expansive, CPB management has never 
claimed to have reserved more than 40% of the Program Fund 
budget for independent production, and we maintain that the 
percentage has, in fact, been significantly lower. Funding of 
independent production must be increased. 


In our July Statement, we recommended that the Board direct 

the Program Fund to develop program structures "that 
complement rather than conflict with the inherent nature of in- 
dependent production." We argued that thematic series 
should be administered with greater flexibility. We reaffirm 
our general call for flexibility, but take our argument one final, 
necessary step with respect to thematic series: Today, we call 
for the elimination of the predetermined thematic series as 
the primary vehicle for funding independent programs. 

From the earliest days of independent film, from the socially 
and artistically alternative film organizations of the 1930's to 
the explosion of video art in the 1970's and 80's, themes have 
emerged from the work of independent producers. New ideas 
have developed and found their appropriate form without the 
bureaucratic imposition of predetermined thematic 

CPB's dogmatic adherence to a "series-at-all-costs" approach 
to programming has proven either self-defeatingly restrictive 
or so loose as to be meaningless. The first round of CPB- 
funded independent programs was called Matters of Life and 
Death. These programs include a humorous meditation on 
definitions of personal success, three men telling stories — 
some "true", some scripted — about the sexuality of power, a 
fictional treatment of teenage pregnancy and a documentary 
about the resurgence of the KKK. None of these are matters 
of life and death, except in the most literal sense of the 
phrase — which, of course, could cover any subject at all. At 
the other extreme, the Crisis to Crisis series, with its specific 
subjects and arcane guidelines, has frustrated most indepen- 
dents, and in one round resulted in no work being funded at 
all. A waste. 

Our recommendation is simple: set aside funds for programs 
by independents, constitute peer panels from time to time 
throughout the year to evaluate program proposals received 
from independents. For this purpose, the panels should be 
made up exclusively of people from the independent com- 
munity. Panel selections should be respected unless there is 
some substantial and objective reason for not funding a par- 
ticular proposal. If certain themes or styles emerge, the panel 
should be free to suggest a series, or mini-series, reflecting 
those concerns. Otherwise CPB could package the entire 
group in some general, non-content-related way, along the 
lines of WNET's independent acquisition program Indepen- 
dent Focus, or its loosely-titled series Non-Fiction Television. 
This is a reasonable approach to packaging material that is 
thematically varied and stylistically diverse. 

Beyond this body of independent work, CPB would be free to 
create such thematic series as it chooses, enlisting the 
talents of public television stations as well as independent 
producers to execute the Program Fund staff's concepts. 

Only by allowing independents to express their own passions 
and explore their own ideas will the Program Fund promote 
the creation of vital, non-commercial public television. While 
the commercial cable companies inundate us with ersatz 
culture, CPB has the opportunity to contribute to the creation 
of television as an art form. However, this means permitting 
independents to work without one hand tied behind their 
backs. This is the challenge facing CPB today. We urge you to 
meet the challenge. 

Very truly yours, 

Lawrence Sapadin 
Executive Director 



NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF members receive first 
priority; others included as space permits. Send notices to 
THE INDEPENDENT c/o FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th floor, New 
York NY 10012. Free writers' guidelines available. For further 
information, call (212) 473-3400. 


FOR RENT: Elegant downtown screen- 
ing room for 16mm only. Rates: $35/hr. 
during business hours, $50/hr. after 6 
pm & weekends. For more info contact: 
Hess Productions, 217V2 Second Ave., 
NY NY 10003, (212) 673-6051. 

FOR SALE: Griswold/Neumade 35mm 
film splicer, model R2, $35; 
Griswold/Neumade 16mm film splicer, 
$25; Moviola 35mm 4-gang synchronizer, 
no counter, $200. For more info contact: 
Steven Jones, (212) 928-2407. 

FOR SALE: 6-plate Sera S-8 editing 
table, 9x7 viewing screen, $4000; 
Beaulieu 5008S S-8 sound camera with 
Angenieux zoom, just checked out, 
$975; Sony TC-124 cassette field 
recorder, $150; Beaulieu 708EL S-8 used 
projector, $1400. For more info contact: 
Andrew Pearson, (207) 439-1835 between 
5-8 pm. 

with 16mm projector. Max. 70 people. 
Rate @ $35/hr., flexible. Ready daytimes 
till 7 pm. or after 12 pm, Sun. all day & 
nite. For info contact: Anna Koos, 256 
West 23 St., (212) 691-1238, 242-9709. 

FOR SALE: Beaulieu R 16 automatic, 
with 25mm lens, 50 MA battery & 
charger. Excellent condition, $830. 
Angenieux 12-120 zoom lens. Mint con- 
dition, $1075. Equipment checked out & 
serviced by official US Beaulieu Service 
center. 16mm 2-gang synchronizer, 
brand new, $95. 'The Poor Man's 
Steenbeck", 16mm flatbed editing table. 
Dependable editing console at 
unbelievably low price. Must be seen. 
Mint condition, $1550. For more info 
contact: Tony Perrotto, (212) 826-2000 or 
823-0448, leave message if necessary. 

VICES available. Technical advise free. 
Contact: Bill Hampton Film Services, 21 
West 46 St., Suite 702, NY NY 10036, 
(212) 398-0455. 

FOR SALE: Sony 3400 portapak deck 
Vz " reel-to-reel BW. AC box and RF unit 
included. Great condition. $200 or best 
offer. For more info contact: (212) 

FOR SALE: CP 16R Camera body, 
viewfinder, four magazines, two 
chargers & batteries. Mint condition for 
$5500. Contact: Michael Hall, 53 Center 
Rd, Easton, CT., 06612 or call (203) 


FOR RENT: Front & rear projection 
screens available for any purpose. Con- 
sultation & installation for all projec- 
tions and exhibitions. For more info 
contact: The Klatu Project Ltd. or 
Klatufilms at (212) 928-2407, 795-3372. 

batteries & charger for $850. Kit in- 
cludes filter & case; fully serviced by 
Camera Mart. For more info contact: The 
Klatu Project Ltd., (212) 928-2407, 

FOR SALE: Magnetic recording stock 
16mm. Sealed cases. 3M stock 341 SP 
polyester available for $20 per 1200' 
roll. Call Steven Jones at (212) 928-2407. 

FOR SALE: Used time base correctors: 
Ampex & MicroTime; also used editing 
systems: Convergence ESC-90 & Sony 
VO-2860A's. For more info contact: 
Michael Temmer (212) 580-9551 or 

FOR SALE: Mitchell 1200' magazine, 
$600; Anvil case for two 1200' Mitchell 
mags, $125; Frezzi F-30 EXF 30vdc fast- 
charge power belt & Frezzi BC-30 fast- 
charger $700. Also F&B Seco Ball- 
leveling fluid-head tripod, standard 
wooden legs, Anvilite case & NCE 
triangle, $225. Frezzi double-shoulder 
body brace for 16mm cameras, $150. For 
more info call (716) 885-9777. 

FOR SALE: Steenbeck 900W 6-plate 
16mm $9,500; Moviola 16mm $750; Uhler 
optical printer 16-35 $1,850; Auricon 
16mm w/12-120 Ang. case & 2 mags 
$1,800; Sony 1610 camera w/2 batteries, 
Sony 3800 U-matic recorder, Sony AC 
color & charger unit $2,900; Nagra III 
$2,000. For more info contact: Nugent, 

FOR RENT: Video editing facility for %" 
Panasonic NV9600. Also film: complete 
editing room with 16mm 6-plate Steen- 
beck and sound transfers available. For 
more info contact: Nugent, (212) 


conference as envisioned by feature 
animator Ralph Bakshi being planned 
for NYC in next 6 months. For more info 
contact: Ralph Bakshi, 8132 Sunset 
Blvd., Sun Valley CA 93152, (213) 

Fair Music Productions. Call: (212) 

WRITER, Freelance, treatments, etc. 
Call: BLanche Mednick, (212) 636-4587. 


non-theatrical, 16mm/%" works re- 
leased between Jan. '80-Dec. '81. Entry 
deadline Jan. 15. For more info contact: 
AFF, 43 West 61 St., NY NY 10023, (212) 

accepting short films on non-English 
speaking cultures. 16mm optical only, 
registration fee $15. Entry deadline Jan. 
31. For more info contact: MLFF, PO 
Box 623, Middlebury VT 05753, (802) 

American independent 16mm films, 
optical/silent, maximum 90 min. Entry 
deadline Jan. 15. For more info contact: 
Teresa Tucker or Kathryn Feild, Film 
Expo, 1300 Canyon Rd., Santa Fe NM 
87501, (505)983-1207. 


rooms. Two 6-plate Steenbecks, 1-16/35 
KEM, sound transfers from 1 A " to 16mm 
and 35mm mag, narration recordings, 
extensive sound effects library, inter- 
lock screening room. Contact: Cine- 
tudes Film Productions Ltd., 295 West 4 
St., NY NY 10014, (212) 966-4600. 

and efficient synching of 16mm dailies 
& track. Equipment produced. Contact: 
Terry, (212) 658-5270. 

FOR RENT: 8-plate Ken Universal by the 
month $600, 3 16mm picture heads, 2 
16mm sound heads. For more info con- 
tact: Pat Russell, (212) 581-6470, leave 

rooms. Two 6-plate Steenbecks, 1-16/35 
KEM, sound transfers from %" to 16mm 
and 35mm mag, narration recordings, 
extensive sound effects library, inter- 
lock screening room. Contact: Cine- 
tudes Film Productions Ltd., 295 West 4 
St., NY NY 10014, (212) 966-4600. 

and efficient synching of 16mm dailies 
& track. Equipment produced. Contact: 
Terry, (212) 658-5270. 
COMPLETE %" color video production 
& postproduction facilities available. 
For more info contact: Robert Aaronson 
or Richard Henning, Global Village, 454 
Broome St., NY NY 10013, (212) 



CHILDREN'S VIDEO SET is reviewing 
tapes suitable for children for inclusion 
in a catalogue to be distributed to 
libraries, museums, TV stations & 
schools. For more info contact: Center 
for Children's Television, 71 Mercer 
Ave., Hartsdale NY 10513, (914) 

SYSTEMS seeking documentary pro- 
grams featuring a "wholistic view of 
natural resources". $50/minute, plus 
other benefits. Write: Taylor Barcroft, 
New Earth TV Worksystems, PO Box 
1281, Santa Cruz CA. 

FESTIVAL, cable TV series spotlighting 
work of young filmmakers, seeking top 
qualify student & semi-professional 
films. For info contact: Tish Tash Pro- 
ductions, Greg Roselli, Suite 930, 11 S. 
LaSalle St., Chicago IL 60603. 

terested in acquiring short erotic films 
in live action or animation, preferable 20 
min. or less running time, for inclusion 
in 16mm package for distribution to 
universities & art houses. Films may be 
humorous, narrative, or non-narrative, 
but content must be non-violent & non- 
exploitative. Cinematic technical ex- 
cellence required. Send films for 
preview to: Serious Business Co., 1145 
Mandan Blvd., Oakland CA 94610, (415) 

NY MOOVEEZ, a Los Angeles theatre 
devoted exclusively to screening short 
subjects, seeks highest quality 16mm 
comedy, drama, documentary, anima- 
tion, musical & experimental films under 
1 hour. All new programs publizied by 
NU MOOVEEZ, reviewed by LA Times. 
Filmmakers divide 20% of box office 
gross. Mail films (insured with 
check/MO for return postage) to NU 
MOOVEEZ, 6515 Sunset Blvd., LA CA 
90028, or call (213) 467-7382. 

US ARTS CABLE TV station, Long 
Beach Channel 8, seeks dance 
videotapes up to an hour in length. Con- 
tact: Kathryn, 11826 Kiowa Ave. #106, 
Los Angeles CA 90049. 

short films & videotapes on performing 
artists for cable. For more info contact: 
Susan Whittenberg, One Media 
Crossways, Woodbury NY 11797. 

SUPERTIME, new STV station in San 
Francisco seeking short, well-produced 
video pieces. More info contact: Andrea 
Franco, 1176 Cherry Ave., San Bruno CA 

series on KWCM-TV Minneapolis, seeks 
independent works. Contact: Television 
Ideas, 2710 West 110 St., Bloomington 
MN 55431, (612)884-7262. 

films & tapes for TV series showcasing 
independent works. For more info con- 
tact: Golden TV Productions, 233 East 
70 St., NY NY 10021. 

THE MOVIE CHANNEL, exhibitor-only 
pay TV service looking for shorts & 
documentaries. For further info contact: 
David Hilton, Warner-Amex Satellite 
Entertainment Co., 1211 Ave. of the 
Americas, NY NY 10036, (212) 944-4250. 

SOUTHEAST Video Art competition for 
works made during last 3 years; entries 
accepted until Jan. 15, 1982. For entry 
forms & competition rules contact 
Video Competition, ICA of the Virginia 
Museum, Boulevard & Grove Ave., Rich- 
mond VA 23221, (804) 257-6479. 

SABES: South Atlantic Bilingual Educa- 
tion Service Center at Florida Interna- 
tional University looking for video or 
film programs, either bilingual or focus- 
ing on particular ethnic group. Spanish, 
Chinese, etc. welcome. Contact: Maria 
Lino, SABES, Bay Vista Campus, North 
Miami FL 33181, (305) 940-5640. 

TV market now available through 
Feature Associates as venture between 
4-year-old newspaper syndicate & NY 
cable distribution company. Producers 
with finished videotapes contact: 
Feature Associates, 3334 Kerner Blvd., 
San Rafael CA 94901. No phone calls 

broadcasting quality arts-related 
films/tapes under 15 mins. for inclusion 
in disc targeted to 9-14 age group. 
16/35mm, *A', 1 & 2" acceptable. All 
rights must be cleared for home video 
use. Postmark deadline Jan. 6. Include 
detailed description, running time, 
credits. ICAP Videodisc Project, Att: 
Kitty Morgan, 625 Broadway, NY NY 

TAPES wanted for distribution. Indepen- 
dent production/distribution company 
has excellent sales record for films ap- 
pealing to specific markets — films that 
might otherwise get "lost" in a big 
distributor's catalog. Contact Pete 
Girdle Ridge Drive, Katonah, New York, 
10536, (914)232-9451. 

films about anthropology, animals, 
nature studies, folktales from different 
cultures, pottery making, kite flying, 
street games, for inclusion in the 
American Museum of Natural History's 
Christmas Film Festival. Send promo- 
tional material to Merrill Lee Fuchs, 
Museum Festival Coordinator, MCFC, 3 
West 29 St., 11th FL, New York, NY 
1001, (212) 679-9620. 

a non-profit organization of professional 
women dedicated to the expansion of 
women's roles in the film industry. They 
are now planning Short Takes, a month- 
ly screening series of short films of any 
genre, written, produced or directed by 
women. For more info, contact: WITDC, 
c/o Abby Darrow-Sherman, 1430 West 
Elmdale, Chicago IL 60660, (312) 

RAPHERS being sought for list being 
compiled by EFLA. For more info con- 
tact: Maryann Chach, EFLA, 43 W. 61 
St., NY NY 10023, (212) 246-4533. 

ducting a search for films, tapes & 
slideshows which relate to community 
life, issues & concerns. For more info 
contact: Marc Weiss or Lina Newhouser, 
CMP, 208 West 13 St., NY NY 10011, 
(212) 620-0877. 

ONE WAY FILMS seeks New Wave/Punk 
Films to distribute. For more info con- 
tact: Richard Gailowsky, One Way 
Films, 1035 Guerrero, San Francisco CA 

GOOD THINKING, a show about Yankee 
ingenuity in the 80's, seeking quality 
films/tapes less than 10 mins. Com- 
petitive rates. Send synopsis, format & 
length to: Good Thinking, WTBS, 1050 
Techwood Dr. NW, Atlanta GA 30318. 
EXHIBITOR ONLY: a pay-TV service, The 
Movie Channel, looking for shorts & 
documentaries on variety of subjects. 
For more info contact: David cHilton, 
Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment 
Co., 1211 Ave. of the Americas, NY NY 
10036, (212) 944-4250. 
UPTOWN VIDEO has rare opportunity 
for anyone interested in showing their 
%", Vz " Beta or VHS tape in an informal 
cafe atmosphere. For more info contact: 
Gloria Hunting, (212) 427-3450. 

FOOTAGE SOUGHT of Polish-American 
Day Parade, Oct. 3, 1982. 16mm & %" 
tape accepted. For more info contact: 
Jill Godmilow, 135 Hudson St., NY NY 
10013, (212) 226-2462. 




cable service which begins operating in 
1982, looking for existing productions & 
interested in co-production with inde- 
pendents of established reputation. For 
more info contact: Arnie Hibberman, 
The Entertainment Channel, 30 Rocke- 
feller Plaza, NY NY 10012. 
CBS planning a cable service beginning 
Fall. Emphasis on cultural program- 
ming, particularly material dealing with 
performance & the arts. 60% will be pro- 
duced in-house, 40% open to video/film 
independents. For more info contact: 
Jack Willis, CBS Cable, 51 West 52 St., 
NY NY 10019. 

ACCESS ATLANTA seeking %" casset- 
tes, Beta or VHS of any length & content 
for its weekly show, For More Informa- 
tion . . ., contact: Annette Haywood, 
Access Atlanta, PO Box 5289, Atlanta 
GA 30378, (404) 523-1333. 

ing applications from video artists work- 
ing with electronic image processing. 
Program open to independents con- 
cerned with video as visual art, able to 
use hybrid analog/digital image & sound 
processing system for new works. Appli- 
cation deadline Jan. 15 for works be- 
ginning Feb. 3. Send resume indicative 
of video production experience to: 
Sherry Miller, ETC, 180 Front St., Owego 
NY 13927, (607) 687-1423. 

REMINDER: New application deadline 
for NEH funding Humanities Projects in 
Media: Jan. 8 for projects beginning 
after July '82. For more info contact: 
Mara Mayor, Media Division, Mail Stop 
403, NEH, 806 15 St., NW, Washington 
DC 20506. 

$500,000 NEA grant has been awarded 
to new series on WNET/THIRTEEN on 
American Masters. The 15-part series 
will document profiles of major 
American figures in the arts. Series 
scheduled for Fall 1982. For more info 
contact: Max Friedman, (212) 560-3009. 

studio & living space. International; 
open to visual artists. For more info con- 
tact: International Visual Artists Ex- 
change Program, PO Box 207, Village 
Station, 201 Varick St., NY NY 10014, 
(212) 255-5706. 

ELECTRONIC MUSIC for film. For more 
info contact: Robert Fair Music Produc- 
tions, (212) 966-2852. 



MUSIC FOR FILM: Synthesist/composer 
will provide original tracks for your film 
or video. For more info: Aural Vision, 
(212) 787-8284. 

MUSIC FOR FILM: Synthesist/composer 
will provide original tracks for your film 
or video. For more info: Aural Vision, 
(212) 787-8284. 

desires film projects to create original 
musical scoring. Contact: Jack Tamul, 
PO Box 51017, Jacksonville Beach FL 
(904) 246-8766. 

YORK is a non-profit corporation, found- 
ed to support women's significant par- 
ticipation in the economy, generate 
cooperation and creative competition, 
and promote the development of a 
positive atmosphere for women in the 
business community. For more info: 
WBOONY, 150 West 52 St., New York 
NY 10019, (212) 245-8230. 

CHANGE PROGRAM organizes direct 
swaps of studio and living space inter- 
nationally. Contact: IVAEP, PO Box 207 
Village Station, 201 Varick St., New York 
NY 10014 (212) 255-5706. 

ARTWORK, a non-profit arts employ- 
ment service for employers & qualified 
artists, offers free services to NYC 
residents. Contact: Artwork, 280 B'way, 
Suite 412, NY NY 10007, (212) 233-8467. 

provides free legal representation for 
artists & arts organizations. Downtown 
office at 280 B'way opens Oct. 6. For 
more info contact: VLA, (212) 575-1150. 

vices for any kind of projection, 
theatricals, multimedia presentations. 
Contact: The Klatu Projects Ltd, (212) 
928-2407, 795-3372. 

time, words, feet (16 & 35mm) & meters 
(16 & 35mm). Useful & free. Send self- 
addressed envelope to: Darino Films, 
222 Park Ave. So., NY NY 10003. 

CPB PROGRAM FUND will make ap- 
prox. $1.8 million available for minority 
program production in FY '82, & will 
allocate $750,000 to help underwrite 
cost of acquiring & producing minority 
TV programs through PBS' Station Pro- 
gram Cooperative. 

Feasibility Project has awarded 11 
grants totalling $54,000 for groups & 
organizations who express interest in 

establishing & operating public telecom- 
munication entities. Next round of proj- 
ect grants will be early next Spring. For 
applications contact: Robert Thomas or 
Cheryl Strange, Station Expansion, 1111 
16 St. NW, Washington DC 20036, or call 
(202) 293-6160. 

THE FILM FUND awards $85,150 for 
media projects throughout the country. 
Guidelines for applications for next 
funding cycle available upon request. 
Contact: Lillian Jimenez, Film Fund, 80 
East 11 St., Suite 647, NY NY 10003, 
(212) 475-3720. 

up to 8 $3500 fellowships yearly for pro- 
duction of scripts or screenplays. Con- 
tact: WGA 55 West 57 St., NY NY 10019. 

film & video available from University 
Film Association. Write: Robert Davis, 
Dept. Radio-TV-Film, Univ. of Texas, 
Austin, TX 78216. 

MINI-GRANTS by individual artists for 
community TV productions of up to 
$1500 available through NEA Media Arts 
Program. For more info contact: Mini 
Grants, Downtown Community TV 
Center, 87 Lafayette St., NY NY 10013. 

MENT FUND will seed writing of 3 
original feature screenplays as part of a 
revolving fund. Contact: Nancy Rae 
Stone, Film Dept, Columbia College, 
600 S. Michigan, Chicago IL, 60605, (312) 


EDITING now being completed on 
Smithereens, a film by Susan 
Seidelman. Starring Susan Berman, 
Brad Rinn & Richard Hell. Original 
soundtrack by John Cale. Director of 
Photography Chirine El Khadem. To be 
released this winter. For more info con- 
tact: Susan Seidelman, 176 Broadway, 
NY NY 10038. 


work/study position open: Assistant 
Scheduling Dept. Contact: Jonathan 
Weider, 4 Rivington St., NY NY 10002, 
(212) 673-9361. 

SCRIPTS WANTED: Jones & Spiel Pro- 
ductions seeking materials by indepen- 
dent writers: Short Stories, Action, 
Horror, Rock Musicals or 60's. Mail 


materials to Jones/Spiel, 454 Fort 
Washington Ave., Suite 66, NY NY 

available immediately. Fiction & 
documentary. Reel available. Access to 
16mm equipment. Contact: Igor Sunara, 
(212) 249-0416. 

faculty members for School of 
Language & Communications. Requires 
Ph.D.-level education. Send resume, 
Statement of Teaching, research in- 
terest & letters of reference by Feb. 15 
to: Communications Research Commit- 
tee, School of Language & Communica- 
tions, Hampshire College, Amherst MA 

WNYC-TV seeking a Television Director 
and an Assistant to the Production 
Manager. For more info contact: Tad 
Turner, Production Manager, WNYC-TV, 
1 Centre St., NY NY 10007, (212) 

CAMERAMAN with equipment available. 
Ikegami HL-77, Sony deck, 2 full rigs, 
editing. For more info contact: Paul 
All man, (212) 477-6530. 

artist Wendy Clarke is forming small 
group to assist in development of public 
video art event. Send resume & cover 
letter detailing special interest to: 
Kineholistics Foundation, Satellite Proj- 
ect, 24 Horatio St., NY NY 10014. 


THE MEDIA PROJECT (formerly The 
Northwest Media Project) announces 
the publication of its new Oregon Guide 
To Media Services, $5 plus $1 postage. 
Contact: MP, PO Box 4093, Portland OR 
97208, (503) 223-5335. 

The Independent Filmmaker's Guide 
describes how to raise money from in- 
vestors and how much to realistically 
expect from distribution of your shorts 
and documentaries to cable. PBS, 
foreign television, educational markets, 
videotape/disk, and theaters. Included 
are sample distribution and partnership 
contracts, and budgets for production, 
premiere and self-distribution. $16.95, 
includes postage. Contact: Michael 
Wiese Films, Box 245-1, Sausalito CA 

MEDIA NETWORK, new newsletter 
about censorship of media in relation to 
workers, health & safety, available now. 
Cover price $1. For more info contact: 
Media Network, 208 West 13 St., NY NY 

has selective catalog describing 400 
films/tapes produced since 1970 about 
Native Americans in North, Central, 
South America. Limited copies available 
free to Native American organizations. 
Letterhead stationery required. To order 
send $5.60 to: Film Project, Museum of 
the American Indian, 155 St. & Broad- 
way, NY NY 10032. 

lished by Documentary Research Inc., 
available now. This 170-page funding 
guide tells filmmakers how to find $, 
write proposals, prepare budgets, ap- 
proach the gov't & learn from rejections. 
Cover price $15 (NY residents add sales 
tax). Mail check or money order to: 
Documentary Research, Inc., 96 Rumsey 
Road, Buffalo NY 14209. 

FOR VIDEO offered by Bay Area Video 
Coalition available in Jan. issue of 
BAVC's newsletter, Video Networks. 
Copies $2. Send check to: BAVC, 2940 
16 St., San Francisco CA 94103. 


IN THESE TIMES: a national newsweek- 
ly with regular coverage of the arts. 6 
months/$10.95. For more info contact: In 
These Times, 1509 N. Milwaukee Ave., 
Chicago IL 60622. 

women are thinking and doing to 
change communications media. Rate @ 
$20/yr. For more info contact: Women's 
Institute for Freedom of the Press, 3306 
Ross P. NW, Washington DC 20008, 
(202) 363-0812 or 966-7783. 


ART presents an exhibition of film & 
video: Fire Walls Four by Bill Stephens, 
Dec. 23-Jan. 12; Discord by Bill Lund- 
berg, Jan. 20-Feb. 9; It Starts at Home by 
Michael Smith, Feb. 19-Mar. 11. For 
times & more info contact: the Whitney, 
(212) 570-3633. 


FILM/VIDEO makers needed to par- 
ticipate in Marilyn Goldstein's Cable TV 
Video Beats Westway. For champagne 
planning party and more info contact: 
Marilyn Goldstein, (212) LI 4-0742. 

NAMAC: National Alliance of Media Arts 
Centers, Inc., a national organization 
dedicated to advocacy of media arts, is 
accepting membership applicants. Send 
your $10 check to NAMAC, 80 Wooster 
St., NY NY 10012. 

STOLEN: CP 16 A & Angenieux 12-120 
zoom, serial number 1254487 with 7-inch 
viewfinder, batteries, charger, mags & 
blue & silver location case. If equipment 
is presented to you please notify Jones 
at (212)928-2407. 

CONSORTIUM, representing 29 member 
stations, aims to channel work of inde- 
pendents into PBS networks. For more 
info contact: Frank Rhodes, NBPC, 700 
Bryden Rd., Suite 135, Columbus OH 

COOP HOUSEHOLD seeking media 
worker. Feminist preferred. For more 
info contact: Fred Cook, 1996 Fell St.., 
San Francisco CA 94117, (415) 751-3952.! 

CPB held the 11th annual Public Local 
Program awards on Oct. 28 in New 
Orleans. Awards were issued for ex- 
cellence & creativity in local public TV 
program productions. 

MEDIA NETWORK announces their new 
Media Information Coordinator, Ms. 
Abigail Norman. She was formerly Direc- 
tor of Women Make Movies. 


program for advanced film/videomaker, 
or people without experience concen- 
trating on directing, cinematography, 
production design, producing, screen- 
writing. Application deadline Feb. 1, 
1982. For more info contact: Center Ad- 
missions B, American Film Institute, 
2021 N. Western AVe., Los Angeles CA 

THE ARTS/UCLA Extension offers 1-day 
discussion, Pay TV: Challenges & 
Opportunities for the Creative Com- 
munity. Sat. Feb. 6. For more info con- 
tact: Barbara Marcus, (213) 825-9064. 




"0 Z 

3 * 



=» -< 


z o 

O 3T 

o sq ^ 

^ z 

> H 

2 ^ 

© o 

00 -< 

<o ■ 

m 3 















tt TheProducticMlBible ,, 

Nancy Littlefield, Director, Mayor's Office for Motion Picture & TV 




• Production Logistics, contacts and shooting-permits-procedures 

• All unions & guilds updated contracts, wage scales & working conditions 

• Major awards information and nomination procedures (Oscar, Emmy, Clio & Cannes) 

• Most comprehensive production directory: 
25,000 listings/150 service categories 

• New York major shooting stages, floor 
plans and operations data 

• Commercials, video & music productions: 
AICP, AICE,VPA&SAMPAC standard working 
guidelines and bidding procedures with 
ad agencies 

• Canadian co-production agreements 
and working regulations 

... and MUCH, MUCH MORE! 


". . . saving immeasurable time and energy". —Hugh L. Carey, 
Governor, New York State 

". . . impressive array of information". — Edward I. Koch, 
Mayor, New York City 

'■'. . . tremendous accomplishment of outstanding 

information tool". —Sam Robert, V.P., Conference of 
Motion Picture & TV Unions 

". . . thorough, authoritative, comprehensive well- 
organized and highly functional". — Dr. Irving Falk, N.Y. 
University - Film & TV Professor. 

". . . indispensible publication". —Stanley Ackerman, Asst. 
Executive Secretary, Directors Guild of America 

"... a great industry guide". —Mike Procia, V.P., I.A.T.S.E. 

". . . useful reference work for industry professionals". — Variety 

". . . comprehensive & essential production guide". —Millimeter 

". . . invaluable resource guide for planning, producing & 

budgeting". —Theatre Crafts 

". . . substantial, accurate & thoroughgoing". 

—American Cinematographer 

". . . indispensible standard working tool". —Back Stage 


For Fast Delivery Call: (212) 777-4002 
Also available through major bookstores, 
equipment houses, etc. 

n^J^, 1 Washington Square Village #8P 
manualinc. N.Y., N.Y. 10012 

ISSN: 0163-1276; ISBN: 0-935744-01-0 
Library of Congress No. 79-644582 

The Ideal 
Year 'round Gift 
in the Entertainment 
Just $49.50*! 

Please send me copies of the NEW YORK PRODUCTION MANUAL 1981 at: @$49.50* +$3.95 shipping = $53.45 (Canada US$65; Overseas US$85) 

*New York residents add $4.10 Sales Tax; Total $57.55 

PAID BY: □ Check/Money-order; □ Visa; □ MasterCard D American Express; D Diners Club; □ Carte Blanche 

Account Number: | — i — i 

Card Expires 

Month Year 

Interbank No. (Mastercharge only) 

Signature ^_^, 

Signature of credit card holder. Valid only with full signature. 

□ Place me on standing order □ Send advertising information 

Name, Title, Company: 



\3New York 3-Maps-Kit in a 
special vinyl case $5 

□ Executive Case of heavy 
black vinyl $10 


*NO C.O.D.'s* 




City, State, Zip, Country. 

(Sorry, we cannot ship to P.O. Boxes. Please indicate shipping address) 

Copyright © 1981 by SHMUEL BENSION 






COVER PHOTO: Willard Van Dyke, the 

noted documentarist, is the subject of Amalie 

Rothchild's recent film Conversations With 

Willard Van Dyke. In this issue, Kitty Morgan 

talks to Rothschild about the making of the 



Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Acting Editor: John Greyson 

Assistant Editor: Fran Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block, 

Odessa Flores, John Greyson, David Leitner, 

Wendy Lidell 

Contributors: Thomas Arnold, Leslie Cocco, 

Sian Evans, David Leitner, Kitty Morgan, 

Abigail Norman, Joy Pereth, 

Bernard Timberg, 
Michael Toms, Richard Wyde 
Designer: Deborah Thomas 
Art Director: John Greyson 
Advertising Director: Michelle Slater 
Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 
Typesetting: Compositype Studio 
Printing: Red Ink 
THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 
times yearly by the Foundation for Indepen- 
dent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 625 Broad- 
way, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10012, a non- 
profit, tax-exempt service organization 
dedicated to the promotion of independent 
video and film. Publication of THE IN- 
DEPENDENT is made possible, in part, with 
public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for 
the Arts, a Federal agency. 

Subscription is included with membership in 
the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the trade associa- 
tion sister of FIVF. AIVF is a national 
association of independent producers, direc- 
tors, technicians and supporters of indepen- 
dent video and film. Together, FIVF and 
AIVF provide a broad range of educational 
and professional services and advocacy for in- 
dependents and the general public. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed 
by our members and supporters. If you have 
an idea for, or wish to contribute an article to, 
The Independent, contact the Editor at the 
above address. 

The viewpoints expressed herein are not in- 
tended to reflect the opinion of the Board of 
Directors — they are as diverse as our member, 
staff and reader contributors. 
AIVF/FIVF Staff Members: Lawrence 
Sapadin, Executive Director; Wendy Lidell, 
Assistant Director; John Greyson, Media 
Coordinator; Sol Horwitz, Short Film Show- 
case Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, 
Short Film Showcase Administrative Assis- 
tant; Fran Piatt, Membership Developer; 
Odessa Flores, Administrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Jane Mor- 
rison, President; Marc Weiss, Vice President; 
Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, Treasurer 
(FIVF Board); Richard Schmiechen, Chair; 
Eric Breitbart, Pablo Figueroa, Jessie Maple, 
Kitty Morgan, Judy Irola, Manny Kirchheimer, 
Robert Richter; Lawrence Sapadin, Ex Officio. 


Media Clips • John Greyson 

FCC Attacks EEO . . . and other stories 

Festivals • Joy Pereth 

Cannes Can-Do: A Survival Course 

In Focus • David W. Leitner 

A Look at Color Negative 

The Media Network • Abigail Norman 
Plug-In Strategies 

Interview with Amalie Rothschild • Kitty Morgan 
Conversations About Willard Van Dyke 

Interviews by Bernard Timberg & Thomas Arnold 
Voices From the Hinterlands • Part Three 

Satellite Marketplace: Part Two • Richard Wyde 

A Down to Earth Look at Our Own Network 

AIVF Forum • The Willow Declaration 

A Call for Democratic Communications 














Dear Independent: 

Thanks for the excellent article (round-up) 
on the festival books. That was an extremely 
well-put-together and useful piece (INDE- 
PENDENT, Nov. '81). Although I haven't 
seen the Springer publication yet (in fact 
haven't seen any of them) I suspect you may 
have been a bit hard on it. It does sound a 
bit expensive but almost all such limited- 
target newsletters are like that. They offer a 
very special service to an extremely small 
readership and it's the only way they can 
stay afloat. For example, if you want to 
receive the 8-page Television Digest it will 
cost you about $650 a year. 

The announcement on the first page about 
group shipments to foreign festivals is 
another excellent idea. May save not only 
money but, more important, in my view — 
customs hassles. Thanks. 

Ralph Arlyck 


Dear FIVF: 

I attended your workshop on contracts for 
film and video distributing. As an attorney 
who is starting to do work in this area, I 
found it well-presented and quite informa- 
tive. I would appreciate it if you would keep 
me informed of other such workshops. Keep 

up the good work! 

Patricia Broadbelt, Attorney at Law 


Dear FIVF: 

Just a note to commend you on the great 
series of programs you've lined up for this 
year. I think it's the best calendar of events 
FIVF has ever had. The only problem with it 
is there are so many good things happening 
I'm going crazy trying to get to them all. 

Keep up the good work, and thanks! It's a 
real service for all of us. 

Jennifer Stearns 

THE INDEPENDENT welcomes letters to 
the editor. All correspondence should be 
mailed to THE INDEPENDENT, FIVF, 625 
Broadway, 9th floor, New York, NY 10012. 
Letters may be edited for length and clarity. 


AIVF/FIVF joins family and friends 

in mourning documentarian Kit Clarke 

of Blue Point, New York. Kit died on 

December 6, 1981 after a long illness. A former 

film producer for WNET/THIRTEEN, she 

worked as an independent in recent years and 

was a longtime member of AIVF. Her body of 

work includes Sticky My Fingers, Slit My Feet, 

and an ongoing video project in New Jersey 

prisons called The Unheard Unseen. 






The FCC is presently considering whether 
to eliminate portions of the Model Employ- 
ment Program, which requires radio and 
television stations to file 10-point "Equal 
Employment Opportunity" (EEO) forms 
every time they seek to renew their licenses. 
These forms include: 1) comparison of the 
station's workforce with the local labor 
force; 2) an up-to-date employment profile; 
and 3) station self-evaluation of its efforts to 
recruit, train and promote minorities and 

Last August, the FCC received a memo 
from the Reagan Administration's Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), directing 
the Commission to effectively eliminate this 
ten-year-old regulation. Since its adoption in 
1970, there have been significant increases in 
the numbers of women and racial minorities 
employed by broadcast stations, but if any- 
thing, the regulations need to be strength- 
ened. If the directive from the OMB is not 
overturned, it will mean that the FCC would 
only have to discipline the very worst of- 
fenders in the area of discriminatory hiring 

The OMB order will automatically go into 
effect on March 31, 1982, unless it is over- 
ridden by a majority vote of the seven FCC 
commissioners. In anticipation of their 
meeting on December 17, a coalition of 
forty-eight religious, educational, labor, civil 
liberties and civil rights organizations (in- 
cluding the National Black Media Coalition, 
the United Auto Workers, the United 
Church of Christ, the National Organization 
for Women, AIVF) submitted a joint peti- 
tion defending EEO. The vote was put off 
until January 13, 1982. 

Earlier in December, Pluria Marshall of 
the National Black Media Coalition had 
harsh words to say about EEO within the 
FCC, claiming that Mark Fowler, the cur- 
rent FCC chairman, hasn't hired one black 
person since he came into office. He referred 
to the recent resignation of Terry Banks in 
particular, who had been the top-ranking 
black in a decision-making role until he was 
effectively demoted through reorganization. 

For further information on the current 
status of EEO, contact: The Telecommuni- 
cations Consumer Coalition, Suite 921, 105 
Madison Avenue, New York NY 10016. 
Phone: (212) 683-3834. 


In mid-December, the Action for Chil- 
dren's Television organization filed com- 
plaints with the Federal Trade Commission 
against Tyco Industries and the Ideal Toy 
Company, claiming both used deceptive and 
unfair advertising practices in their TV com- 
mercials advertising two of their products. 
Evidently, the ads for the Tyco Jeep CJ 
Snake-Track and Ideal's Dukes of Hazzard 
Electronic Slot Racing Set employ "special 
video techniques" which "distort and exag- 

gerate the size, appearance and performance 
of the products". In addition, ACT claims 
that the Tyco commercial shows more feet 
of track than are included in the boxed set, 
and that special lighting effects suggest that 
the track glows brightly in the dark, when 
actually it only glows dimly. Ideal allegedly 
exaggerates the performance of its cars 
through slow motion effects and unusual 
camera angles. Sounds like the marketing 
departments were a bit too creative with 
their Christmas sales strategies. 


The ratio of independent vs. commercial 
American films shown in Mozambique is 
perhaps the highest in the world, and sur- 
prisingly, we have the U.S. -based Motion 
Picture Export Association (MPEA) to 
thank for this. This socialist African nation's 
Film Institute imports about ten-odd films a 
year for distribution to the country's 35 
movie houses, and wanted only a third of 
those to be American. They tried to work 
out a contract with the MPEA, but the 
negotiations fell through when the Associa- 
tion proposed importing a minimum of 150 

This unofficial MPEA boycott means that 
next year Mozambican audiences will be en- 
joying The War at Home and El Salvador: 
Another Vietnam? among others. Given the 

uphill struggle their own film industry faces, 
this is perhaps more fitting fare than Raiders 
of the Lost Ark. Since the Institute was 
founded in 1976, it has managed to produce 
70 documentaries (five feature-length) with 
second-hand machines and a printer that 
recently passed on to that post-production 
rest home in the sky. Currently, Pedro 
Pimenta, assistant director at the Institute, 
and Camilo de Sousa, a filmmaker, are tour- 
ing the U.S. with a package of their films to 
raise $10,000 to buy a new printer. For more 
information: Positive Productions, 48 Q St. 
NE, Washington DC; or call (202) 529-0270. 


Another deregulation bill (S.1629), aimed 
at radio and to a lesser extent TV, is before 
the Senate, introduced on December 10 by 
Senator Howard Cannon. The numbers are 
different, but the intent is the same — to help 
rewrite the Communications Act of 1934, 
conveniently eliminating the "restrictions" 
that are supposed to encourage community 
responsibility on the part of broadcasters. 

If enacted, S.1629 would prohibit the 
FCC from requiring radio broadcasters to 
provide "news, public affairs, locally pro- 
duced or any other programs" or to adhere 
to a particular program format, maintain 
program logs or ascertain "the problems, 
needs and interests" of their service areas. 
Nor could the FCC restrict the "amount, 
length, frequency or scheduling of commer- 
cial material." 

It would require the FCC to renew the 
license of any broadcaster whose operation 
"has been free of serious violations" of the 
Communications Act or the FCC's rules and 
regulations. The FCC would not be permit- 
ted to consider competing applications for a 
license up for renewal. 

Coincidentally, on the very same day, 
House Telecommunications Subcommittee 
Chair Timothy Wirth introduced a long- 
anticipated bill (H.R.5158) to promote 
competition in the telephone industry. 
H.R.5158 will deregulate AT&T (on a more 
restricted basis than S. 898 — see The Inde- 
pendent, Vol. 4, #9), permitting it to offer 
enhanced services through a separate sub- 

Besides potentially higher phone bills, 
what does this mean for independents? At 
this point, letting Wirth know what you'd 
like to see (and not see) in the new com- 
munications act and where you stand on 
such deregulatory practices might be a good 
idea. His address is: Hon. Timothy E. 
Wirth, Chairman, U.S. House of Represen- 
tatives, Subcommittee on Telecommunica- 
tions, Consumer Protection and Finance, 
Room B-331, Rayburn House Office Build- 
ing, Washington DC 20515. 

TV OR NOT TV. . . 

Remember your Uncle Humboldt telling 


you not to sit too close to the television with 
your legs uncrossed? The town of Onan- 
daga, NY, has thought very seriously about 
the radiation hazards TV offers, and has 
managed to obstruct the building of a TV 
station in their community for almost two 

In April 1980, Film ways Communications 
of Syracuse purchased a site in the town and 
were ready to start construction on their 
proposed station. In August, the town 
board, rejecting Filmways' arguments that 
the proposed station would pose no health 
hazard, adopted an ordinance barring con- 
struction for a twelve-month period. This 
moratorium was extended for an additional 
year when the town's Environmental Ad- 
visory Council, after much research into the 
potential threat the station might represent, 
could not resolve the question. 

In the meantime, Filmways had suggested 
that the Onandaga station adopt a standard 
that was five times as restrictive as any in the 
world. When the extension was announced, 
however, the company decided to go to 
court. Claiming that its First Amendment 
freedom of speech rights and the public's 
right to "an uninhibited, diversified flow of 
communications" were being infringed, the 
company is seeking a removal of the con- 

struction ban and damages totalling 


A dozen independent video artists are be- 
ing given national cable television exposure 
on Night Flight, carried to over 9 million 
homes by the USA Network. 

The series debuted on January 2 with the 
work of AIVF members Kit Fitzgerald and 
John Sanborn. The genesis of the series was 
a direct result of an FIVF panel discussion, 
TV Becomes Video: New Technology 
Creates New Forms, held in October '81. 
Video artist John Sanborn and Night Flight 
producer Stuart Shapiro, both members of 
the panel, began a discussion that evening 
which led to the creation of the eight-part 
series entitled The Video Artist. 

The Video Artist series, produced by 
Stuart Shapiro and Eric Trigg of Electronic 
Arts Intermix, will span eight weeks with a 
new segment each week featuring one artist 
or artist team. Participants will include Ed 
Emshwiller, John Sanborn, Kit Fitzgerald, 
Shalom Gorewitz, Nam June Paik, Stephen 
Beck, Steina and Woody Vasulka,Aldighieri/ 
Tripicain/Bone and Twinart. Electronic Arts 
Intermix is the tape distributor for all the 
artists included in the series. ■ 




Whatever you've heard about Cannes is 
true. It's like no other film festival in the 
world. Film markets may come and go 
around the world, but nothing can eclipse 
the charisma of La Croisette in May. Every 
year, thirty thousand or so film distributors, 
TV buyers, producers, directors, film 
festival directors, journalists, actors and 
assorted film buffs, starlets, groupies and 
tourists descend upon this charming Medi- 
terranean spot and transform it into the 
Greatest Show on Earth. 

I'm not going to serve up a technical 
handbook about Cannes here. One already 
exists and I recommend that you request it 
from the French Film Office in New York. 
It explains who does what, how and where 
and also defines the qualifying criteria for 
the different sections of the Festival— the 
Main Competition, Un Certain Regard, the 
Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week. It 
also lists such important information as the 
official shipping agents, etc., etc. 

The purpose of this article is to give you 
some first-hand advice about how you might 

approach Cannes in an organized way to 
achieve your goal: to showcase your new 
film and sell it as widely as possible. 

There are some important guidelines to 
consider. To begin with, Cannes is a show- 
case for theatrical films, not shorts. There 
are other much more appropriate showcases 
for short films, such as the MIP television 
market, which also takes place in Cannes, a 
couple of weeks prior to the Cannes Film 
Festival. Also, the official festival is not the 
only way to showcase a new feature. The 
Marche" du Film or Film Market takes place 
simultaneously and attracts hundreds of 
films and thousands of buyers. 

Remember that films selected for the 
Cannes Festival cannot have been exposed in 
any other major European festival, and they 
must be new productions. Whether your 
film has been officially invited, or if you 
want to enter your film into the Market in- Q 
dependently, as an independent you will be g 
up against the heavy-hitters in terms of£ 
money spent on promotion, advertising, a. 
entertainment and so forth. The name of the d 

Are you 
or have you 
ever been... 

h ^%;f % 


If not, perhaps now is the time. As the 
national trade association for independent 
producers, we've been working since 1974 to 
provide the sort of representation you need. 
For instance: 

• Testifying before congress on legislation 
affecting independents 

• Monitoring developments in public TV, 
cable and telecommunications 

• Participating in media coalitions 

• Reaching out to the general public with the 
independent's viewpoint 

Along witn our sister organization, the 
Foundation for Independent Video & Film 
(FIVF), we provide our members with such 
services as: 

• Comprehensive Health Insurance at in- 
credibly low rates 

• The Independent, our monthly film & video 

• Short Film Distribution through the NEA's 
Short Film Showcase 

• Festival Liaison for independents through 
our Festivals Bureau 

• Comprehensive Information Services at our 
downtown NYC office— resource files, 
reference library, free consultations with our 
helpful staff (drop by soon!) 

• Screenings, Seminars & Workshops designed 
to reflect our members' needs and interests 

In all, AIVF continues to provide a strong 
collective voice, concrete services and a 
wealth of information for independent pro- 
ducers and supporters of independent video 
and film. Of course, we can't survive without 
your input . . . and assistance. Write, call or 
drop by our office today, and we'll be happy 
to tell you more about what membership in 
AIVF could mean for you. 


625 Broadway, 9th floor, 
New York, NY 10012 



P &m ■■-■ 

1 f 1 

**?* / 


LL (0 

O a> 

CO | 

ID o 

i= 2 

> 2 

"- E 





Q) S 

c o 




_ CD 

5= CD 


CD «0 

1 to 

CD i 

E a, 

CO £ 

o 5 

»- CO 

co t- 





5 o 


° 5r 

CO « 

o "2 

6* « 

• si 


O -Q 

C\J f- 

** o 





w io 

O C\J 


I- CD 

Z :* 


— o 

CO 5 

uj - 

>- a 

■5 .N 
■i CD 




co .2 


LU < 



=? CO 


< CC 

U Q 


o < 










O □ 

Please return this 

coupon with your payment to: 


625 Broadway, 9th floor 
New York, New York 10012 

game at Cannes is "creating a presence", and 
this takes money. It also takes a team effort 
and, ideally, professional assistance. 

If your film is officially invited, you will 
be expected to pay for a blow-up to 35mm if 
the film was shot in 16mm, as well as subtitl- 
ing in French and shipping costs. As a direc- 
tor, you will be given hospitality at a hotel 
for three days or so. Additional items you 
must be prepared to include in your Cannes 
budget are: professionally produced press 
kits (500 for journalists and seriously in- 
terested distributors), good-looking but 
simply produced flyers or postcards with 
which you blitzkrieg the town (at least 500), 
100 posters with which you also blitzkrieg 
the town, putting them up in restaurants and 
on walls and hoping they won't all be taken 
down the next day, in which case you paper 
the town all over again. 

If you choose to showcase your film in the 
Market, remember that this organization has 
an entirely separate administration from the 
Festival. Frankly, I don't believe the Market 
will be of use to you unless you work with 
a good producers' representative who has 
established contacts with distributors, knows 
where to reach them and enjoys schmoozing 
with them till all hours of the night. Screen- 
ings at the Market are relatively inexpensive, 
and should be arranged at least two months 
in advance. You may screen 16mm unsub- 
titled prints. You should request a minimum 
of four screenings spaced throughout the 
Market. The best times to ask for are 9:30 
am, or at the end of the day, but before 
dinner, at 5 or 6 pm. It's a very good idea to 
have videocassettes with you also, for last- 
minute screenings for buyers who may have 
missed your official screenings. The video- 
cassette screenings can often be arranged 
with very little notice and quite inexpensive- 

It's hard to tell whether it's worth spend- 
ing money on advertising in the daily official 
bulletins of the Festival. One small ad will 
probably get lost, so if you're going to 
advertise at all you should be prepared to 
take out several small ads spaced over the 
Festival fortnight. This can add a couple of 
thousand dollars to your budget. Again, 
professional reps can be very helpful in get- 
ting you some free publicity in the daily 
bulletins. It will also be very helpful to get 
friendly with some of the international film 
festival directors and key journalists. One of 
the nicest aspects of Cannes is that new- 
comers who are serious about their work are 
quickly accepted into a network of indepen- 
dent distributors, festival directors etc. who 
help each other out and give each other tips 
and information. I've always enjoyed a great 
sense of camaraderie there — a little like be- 
ing in the trenches. 
Another good reason for working though 
2 a producers' representative is their ability to 
^ negotiate deals with confidence and ex- 
it, perience, because they understand what each 
d market will bear and how to protect their 

clients. There's nothing quite like the sight 
of scores of clusters of distributors wheeling 
and dealing over drinks in every hotel lobby, 
the buzz of deal-making, the ever-darting 
glances to see who's walking by. 

There are several small but important 
points which you should bear in mind if you 
decide to tackle Cannes: (1) Don't bother 
trying to reach anyone by phone in their 
hotel after 8 a.m., they've all left for screen- 
ings. Indeed, reaching people is the ac- 
customed way to make appointments is 
practically impossible. You're much more 
likely to find them in the course of your 
dining, drinking or simply walking up and 
down La Croisette on your way to and from 
other meetings or screenings. And you have 
to buttonhole them then and there. (2) In 
order to be admitted to the evening screen- 
ings of the main competition you must abide 
by the traditional etiquette, which means no 
jeans or beach wear. They're very formal. 
Indeed, if your French isn't so hot, it's a 
very good idea to include someone on your 
team who speaks it fairly fluently. It can 
make a tremendous difference when you're 
trying to get through some tiresome 
bureaucracy. (3) It's actually cheaper to 
share the rent of a small flat for the month 
of May than it is to stay at a decent hotel for 
two weeks in Cannes. In either case, you 
shouldn't make your reservations later than 
January or February, and make certain there 
is a telephone in your hotel room, or that 
one will be connected for you if you stay in 
a flat. It it's at all possible financially, you 
should stay in the center of Cannes, "where 
the action is". (4) Be conscious of your 
public relations. It will often be necessary to 
lay on the charm to get what you want; this 
is especially true for getting tickets to hot 
movies or making sure your concierge is ex- 
tra vigilant with your messages. If you're 
staying in a flat, a telephone answering 
machine is very helpful. (5) Working with or 
without a producers' representative, be sure 
to get letters of agreement on every deal you 
make. It's preferable to get a deposit from 
the buyer as well, unless he or she is well 
known to you. If you don't work through a 
rep, you must be prepared to follow through 
on the particulars of every deal made, which 
is a time-consuming and detailed job. 

My favorite Cannes story is the one about 
the seasoned agent and his wife who had 
been coming to the Festival for 20 years and 
never saw a film. They just sat on the 
Carlton Terrace from breakfast to midnight, 
doing all their business from their table, the 
agent seated so he could see who was walk- 
ing up the steps from the Croisette, his wife 
seated opposite so she could keep her eye on 
who was coming out from the bar. Now, 
that's organization! 

FESTIVAL, May. Contact: French Associa- 
tion of the International Film Festival, 71 
rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, 75008, 
Paris, France. Entry deadline: March. ■ 



Zagreb, founded in 1970, has gained 
recognition as one of four principal festivals 
for animated films, along with Ottawa and 
Varna, and Annecy with which it alternates. 
Held biennally, it is well covered by the 
press, well attended by distributors and 
viewers and provides an amiable atmosphere 
for entrants. A patio is set up as a meeting 
place where filmmakers can converse with 
each other. The sales portion of the festival 
and a daily press conference are also held at 
the patio. This central meeting place makes 
it easy to contact anyone at the festival, and 
each entrant is provided with a mailbox. 
Halfway through the festival a picnic in the 
country is sponsored. 

Zagreb offers an excellent opportunity to 
get films shown and bought by the many 
distributors in attendance. "There's an im- 
mense exhibition hall in which the films are 
viewed," said Tissa David, a filmmaker who 
entered the festival in 1974. There's even an 
informal screening room to show work that 
is not entered in the competition to prospec- 
tive buyers. 

Each Zagreb festival also hosts a retro- 
spective honoring important animators. A 
travelling exhibition tour entitled 'The Best 
of Zagreb" results from the competition. 
The tour travels to well-known art institutes 
such as the Museum of Modern Art in New 
York and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

"There is a strong American participation 
of independent films," said Charles Samu, 
the American coordinator for the festival. 
Although the majority of the buyers are 
European (the BBC, German, Swedish and 
Yugoslavian television), a few American 
distributors also attend. At the 1980 festival, 
American distributors bought approximately 
15 films. Out of 450 films entered, 70 were 
accepted in the competition and another 30 
were selected for the noncompetitive Infor- 
mation Section. The selection committee 
consists of three prominent animators. The 
winners of the competition in 1980 were 
chosen by a seven-member committee of 
animators, critics and a television producer. 

Zagreb specializes in showcasing new 
directions in world animation, and is par- 
ticularly interested in films from Third 
World nations. Films not accepted in the 
competition but having a quality or unique- 
ness deserving of exhibition are submitted 
into the non-competitive Information 
category. The other categories are: Longer 
Than Three Minutes, Shorter Than Three 
Minutes, First Work, Educational, For 
Children, and Television Series. The max- 
imum length of the film must not exceed 30 

Entrants do not have to worry about exor- 
bitant postage fees, because all films are col- 
lected by Charles Samu at the New Jersey 
address below and shipped out together, sav- 
ing the entrant a significant amount of 
money. All films must be received by April 

1, 1982. 

Contact: Charles Samu, Festival Coor- 
dinator for the USA, 49 Victory Place, East 
Brunswick NJ 08816. No entry fee. ■ 

Leslie Cocco 


Along with Sydney, which overlaps it by 
one week, Melbourne (June) is the most im- 
portant festival in Australia. They accept 
fictional shorts up to 30 minutes, for which 
there is a competition awarding substantial 
cash prizes. There are also official and infor- 
mation sections for feature films and docu- 
mentaries up to 60 minutes. They are very 
receptive to American work. Last year's 
selections included John Lowenthal's The 
Trials of Alger Hiss and Connie Fields' The 
Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, and an 
American short won the Grand Prize Gold 
Boomerang Trophy. 

Melbourne is particularly well-run, and set 
up well for wide exposure. They have a new 
director who is moving the main screening 
space from out in the sticks into the 
downtown area in 1982, so that this situa- 
tion should be even further improved. They 
have very good press relations and you can 
get excellent help from the festival staff, 
especially Natalie Miller, who can get you 
publicity on TV and in the press. 

There are lots of buyers at Melbourne and 
they are generally easy to meet. The festival 
provides a number of accommodations, in- 
cluding cost-free private screenings, to facili- 
tate the transaction of business. Melbourne 

and Sydney share about 30% of their films 
and will often pay travel costs for the film- 
maker. There is no entry fee and the festival 
pays return postage for selected entries. 
Contact: Geoffrey Gardner, 53 Cardigan 
Street, PO Box 357, Carlton South, Victoria 
3053, Australia. Entry deadline: February 
28. (Based on information provided by John 
Lowenthat). ■ 

Wendy Lidell 

The Festival Report has been compiled by 
Wendy Lidell, Leslie Cocco, and Sian Evans 
with the help of Gadney's Guides and the 
FIVF files for the convenience of our 
readers. Listings do not constitute an en- 
dorsement, and since dates and other details 
change faster than we can keep up with 
them, we recommend that you contact the 
festival for further information before send- 
ing your material. Application forms for 
some festivals are available from FIVF. 
Lastly, many festivals are beginning to ac- 
cept videotape, although our latest informa- 
tion may not reflect this. If a particular 
festival seems appropriate, you should call 
them and ask if they accept video. (Perhaps 
if they get enough calls, they will change 
their policy!) For additional listings, turn to 
the NOTICES section. 

Guest columnist Joy Pereth, former 
Director of the Independent Feature Proj- 
ect, is now President of Affinity Enterprises, 
Inc., which specializes in the marketing of 
American independent feature films and 
documentaries to the world television and 
theatrical markets. 




Despite prognostication to the contrary, 
film hangs in there. Year after year, more of 
the stuff is manufactured, and its popularity 
holds. Of all the advances in cameras, lenses 
and lighting, perhaps nothing contributes as 
significantly to this phenomenon as the con- 
tinued improvement — some might say per- 
fection—of color negative. 

Color negative represents the latest step in 
the eighty-year evolution of color cinematog- 
raphy. By the latter half of the 19th century, 
the basic principles of additive and subtrac- 
tive mixing of colored light had been applied 
to photography, and sundry schemes to im- 
part color to moving images followed in due 
course. Early motion picture inventions that 
sought to reproduce natural color by means 
of selective exposure of black-and-white 

negatives through colored filters date back 
to the first decade of this century. 

This approach reached full flower in the 
Technicolor three-strip camera process of 
1932. A beam-splitting prism behind the 
lens divided the image between two aper- 
tures, one filtered for green and the other 
for magenta, its complement. Through the 
green-filtered aperture a green-sensitive 
black-and-white negative was exposed; 
through the magenta-filtered aperture two 
strips of black-and-white negative — one red- 
sensitive, the other blue — were exposed in 
contact with one another. Upon develop- 
ment the result was three black-and-white 
negatives, each a record of a component 
primary color. 

The Technicolor printing process required 

the manufacture of a matrix for each color- 
separation negative. A matrix, for those not 
familar with dye-transfer techniques in still 
photography, is a photoengraved copy of 
the original red, green or blue color-separa- 
tion negative, chemically etched so that the 
image is in relief as on a lithographic plate. 
Each matrix is wiped with dye, and the print 
is literally printed. (This is the non- 
photographic printing process heralded 
of late by Martin Scorsese.) Drawbacks of 
this system included the requirement of 
perfect mechanical registration of the three 
component images from camera to dye over- 
lay (precluding its usefulness with regard to 
formats smaller than 35mm), the size and 
weight — not to mention noise — of its multi- 
magazine camera, and the boggling logistics 
of generating effects such as dissolves and 
wipes from three negatives in tandem. 

Kodak and DuPont each developed a 
stripping negative for color cinematography 
in the late 1940s. The more successful of the 
two (relatively speaking), Eastman Multi- 
layer Stripping Film, consisted of three 
black-and-white negative emulsions, each 
sensitized to red, green or blue respectively, 
layered onto a single acetate base. After ex- 
posure but prior to development, the top 
two layers, blue- and green-sensitive, were 
peeled off individually and redeposited on 
two separate acetate strips. The three black- 
and-white emulsions were then processed 
conventionally and printed via the Techni- 
color dye-transfer method. Incredibly, the 
thickness of this sandwich in the camera gate 
was equivalent to the then-current Pan-X 
negative with its single black-and-white 
emulsion! Only one feature, released in 
1953, was ever completed utilizing this 
cleverly-wrought but intricate system. 

If each layer of the stripping negative were 
to contain its own dye, and if a correspond- 
ing print stock featuring incorporated dyes 
were to be devised as well, then there would 
be no need to strip the negative layers apart. 
Such reasoning led to the announcement in 
1950 of the original Eastman Color Negative 


5247, daylight-balanced with an exposure 
index (E.I.) of 16. Supplementing this 
monopack color negative was the original 
5381 color print film and an interpositive/ 
negative system for duplication. 

The original 5247 contained three black- 
and-white emulsions, the top emulsion (fac- 
ing the lens) sensitive to blue, the middle 
green, and the lowermost red. Developed 
simultaneously, the three emulsions yielded 
silver deposits forming a negative image. 
Chemical compounds suspended in each 
emulsion alongside the light-sensitive silver 
halide crystals caused small clouds of color 
to envelop each developing grain of silver. 
These chemicals, called dye couplers, were 
the key to monopack color negative. After 
development, the silver crystals were dis- 
solved or bleached out of the emulsions, 
leaving behind the microscopic splotches of 
color in their stead. In the blue-sensitive 
layer, yellow dyestuff remained; in the 
green, magenta; in the red, cyan — all in 
perfect, permanent registration. 

Succeeding generations of Eastman Kodak 
color negative have retained the basic struc- 
ture of the original 5247 while incorporating 
periodic advances in emulsion technology. 
In 1953, Kodak introduced 5248 with an E.I. 
of 25 and an increase in the speed of the 
blue-sensitive layer, obtaining a balance for 
tungsten lighting. In 1959, with 5250 
negative, the E.I. was doubled to 50. 5251, 
introduced in 1962, demonstrated a signifi- 
cant reduction in graininess. In 1968, with 
no increase in graininess, 5254 doubled the 
speed of its predecessor to E.I. 100. 5247, 
the current product, was introduced in 1972 
and reintroduced with improved color repro- 
duction in 1976. In the fall of 1981, Kodak 
announced with great fanfare the availability 
in mid-1982 of 5293, with a nominal E.I. of 
250 and color characteristics and graininess 
closely matching 5247. 

Other manufacturers pioneered monopack 
color negative with dye couplers as well. 
Tokyo-based Fuji first manufactured color 

negative for motion picture use in 1951 
(available in the US since 1970) and current- 
ly markets two: 8517, with an E.I. of 100, 
and the fast 8518, the first fine-grain color 
negative with a speed of 250, introduced in 
1980. Gevaert of Belgium introduced its first 
motion picture color negative with an E.I. of 
16 in 1948. (Agfa-Gevaert did not distribute 
Gevacolor negative in the US until 1976.) 
Their current product, Type 682, is rated 
E.I. 100. 

New dye couplers and more sensitive silver 
halide crystals are largely responsible for' 
steady improvements in grain structure and 
speed. Two further innovations distinguish 
the most recent color negative emulsions by 
these manufacturers. The first of these is the 
double-layer emulsion technique. The green- 
sensitive layer, for example, is divided into 
two thinner layers, each maintaining identi- 
cal spectral sensitivity. The uppermost layer, 
the first to be struck by incident light, con- 
sists of larger, faster crystals, while the sec- 
ond, coated underneath, is densely packed 
with smaller, less photo-sensitive ones. The 
first layer with its relatively coarse grain 
assures speed, and the second layer, pro- 
vided adequate exposure, contributes fine 
grain— the sum total of which is the ex- 
posure latitude of a medium- and high-speed 
film combined, without the penalty of in- 
creased graininess. 

The second recent technique, developed in 
the 1960s, is the use of Development In- 
hibitor Releasing couplers. A DIR coupler is 
a colorless chemical compound that is ac- 
tivated during developing to inhibit the fur- 
ther development of a given silver halide 
crystal, limiting the size of the dye cloud 
forming around it, and therefore its con- 
tribution to color granularity. With a sizable 
silver halide crystal yielding a diminished dye 
cloud, crystals can be closely spaced. Since 
the speed of an emulsion is directly related 
to the size of its silver halide crystals, DIR 
couplers can obtain very fine-grained color 
images at exposure indices previously un- 
attainable. At the same time, image detail is 
enhanced and overall resolution improved. 

All current Kodak, Fuji and Agfa- 
Gevaert color negatives are slit to gauges of 
35mm and 16mm (no 8mm), the latter avail- 
able with either a double row of perforations 
or, for the Super- 16mm format, a single 
row. All, including Fuji's fast E.I. 250 
negative, are compatible with the prevalent 
Eastman Color Negative II (ECN II) pro- 
cess. This means that virtually all color film 
labs can develop each of these products. 
Since color and contrast characteristics vary 
among the brands available today, the film- 
maker should actively investigate the 
aesthetic possibilities before settling for the 
conventional. ■ 

David W. Leitner is an independent pro- 
ducer who works at DuArt Film Labs in 
New York. Next Issue: A Further Look at 
Color Negative. 








The survival of independent media de- 
pends upon the development of new strate- 
gies for expanding our audiences. Media 
Network is emerging as one of the national 
groups at work on this task. After two years 
of groundwork, two of its projects, the In- 
formation Center and the Community 
Media Project, are making substantial prog- 
ress. As an alliance of community and media 
activists, Media Network focuses on pro- 
moting awareness of the limitations and 
biases of mass media, increasing the use of 
independent media as an alternative and 
promoting community involvement in media 

"I always wear my Network button," 
says Rosalynn Carter 

In 1978, Marc Weiss, now director of 
Media Network, initiated a study on the 
distribution and use of social issue media. 
The study, designed to explore problems and 
possibilities for building audiences for in- 
dependent work, found that many groups 
hungry for media weren't using it. The most 
common reason was these groups' lack of a 
centralized source of media information that 
was relevant to their work. In addition, most 
groups had no experience ordering films or 
tapes, setting up screenings and integrating 
media into their work. Ironically, organizing 
around social issues and the problems faced 
by the disenfranchised have traditionally 
been areas of active involvement for in- 
dependents, who are partially defined by the 
challenge they pose to the political and 
aesthetic status quo. 

To bring together producers and potential 

audiences, Media Network has developed 
the Information Center and the Community 
Media Project. The Information Center is a 
clearinghouse for information on films, 
videotapes and slideshows that deal with 
social issues. The service is based on a new 
user-oriented cataloguing system with over 
900 subject headings, developed in conjunc- 
tion with the Columbia School of Library 
Science. Subject headings cover local, na- 
tional and international affairs and range 
from tenant organizing to disarmament, 
from multinationals to reproductive rights. 

Already, in the months the Information 
Center has been in operation, hundreds of 
requests have come in — from a group plan- 
ning a black film festival in Minneapolis, a 
New York union local seeking to use films in 
its organizing campaign, a Tennessee group 
doing community education around federal 
budget cuts, a Kansas organization working 
on appropriate technology, as well as others 
concerned with gay and lesbian rights, the 
oil industry, farmworkers' organizing, na- 
tional liberation movements and other 
issues. The Information Center now con- 
tains over 2500 titles and is constantly grow- 
ing. It includes work that is long and short, 
plain and fancy, documentary and fiction, 
with descriptions that help match media with 
a particular organization's needs. 

The Community Media Project, which 
recently received a grant from the National 
Endowment for the Humanities, will help 
neighborhood groups in New York City use 
media to stimulate discussion on community 
issues and concerns. This 18-month demon- 
stration project, designed to provide inten- 
sive experience with media use at the grass- 
roots, will later be adapted for use through- 
out the country. During the seven-month 
planning period for the Project, over 200 
groups asked to participate, and the New 
York and Brooklyn Public Library systems 
pledged their cooperation, calling the Proj- 
ect "vital to the growth" of the libraries. 
Along with panels of library staff members 
and humanist scholars, the Project staff has 
worked closely with leaders and activists 
from community organizations like the 
Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy 
Coalition, the West Harlem Community 
Organization and the Gray Panthers. One 
member of the panel, Don Kao, wrote, "For 
once someone has made community groups 
a priority and is willing to design a program 
to meet their needs as defined by 


A national search for community-related 
media brought in hundreds of responses. 
With selections from this pool, the Project 
will coordinate six series of screenings begin- 
ning in the spring of 1982 and continuing 
throughout the year. In the process, about 
twenty works will be purchased and donated 
to the libraries' media collections. Later, an 
evaluative Guide to Community Media and 
a workbook for use in planning community 
screenings will be published for national 

In addition to administering the Informa- 
tion Center and the Community Media Proj- 
ect, Media Network publishes a newsletter, 
offers discounts on certain media-related 
publications and helps hook its members up 
with each other on issues of media produc- 

Media Network staff at their NYC office 

tion, access and use. As part of its work, 
it has brought people out to testify at the 
December hearings on New York City's 
cable franchise; conducted a survey to deter- 
mine the need for a proposed film on red- 
lining; carried out a search to help the 
United Auto Workers find an independent 
filmmaker to produce a film for them; ar- 
ranged screenings of alternative history films 
for teachers in New York City's public 
schools and helped develop study materials 
to go with them; and helped various in- 
dependents launch their work into distribu- 

For more information on Media Network, 
the Information Center or the Community 
Media Project, write Media Network, 208 
West 13 St., New York, NY 10011 or call 
(212) 620-0877. ■ 

Abigail Norman is the Information Co- 
ordinator at Media Network, the former 
director of Women Make Movies, and an in- 
dependent video producer. 







Kitty Morgan: How did you come to make 
your recent film, Conversations with Willard 
Van Dykel 

Amalie Rothschild: The film came about 
because of Austin Lamont [current presi- 
dent of the Boston Film and Video Founda- 
tion], who thought that Van Dyke would 
make a good subject for a film. He asked 
me to take on the project in 1977, three 
years after he had originally started it with 
another filmmaker who didn't work out. By 
the time the chance came for me to make the 
film, Willard and I already had a long 
history of discussing film ideas together, and 
we knew there were many areas of philo- 
sophical agreement. For me, the film was a 
chance to discover my generation's collective 
roots as social change filmmakers, by learn- 
ing the life story of this man who was the 
previous generation. I first met Willard in 
1968, but only began to get to know him in 
1970 at the Flaherty Film Seminar, where 
Woo Who? May Wilson was shown. May 
Wilson was my first film, completed in 1969. 

KM: When did you start shooting? 

AR: On May 29, 1977. Austin put up a 
loan to film the big retrospective of Van 
Dyke photographs at the Witkin Gallery. I 
shot a day at the gallery, filmed a day of in- 
terviews with him in his apartment, then the 
opening. I then went up to the State Univer- 
sity of New York at Purchase, where he was 
teaching in the film program that he started 
there in 1973. I filmed him for a day work- 
ing with his students. The shooting worked 
out so well that the project took on a life of 
its own. 

KM: Were you able to work full-time on 

AR: No. At the time I was developing 
other film projects. I was teaching produc- 
tion at New York University; I was also on 
the Board of Directors of AIVF and very ac- 
tive with that. This was also the period dur- 
ing which I was finishing editing Doing it 
Yourself, a handbook on independent film 
distribution [available from FIVF: $3.75/ 
AIVF members, $5.50/non-members ] 
which grew out of my work with New Day 
Films. For the first year and a half I worked 
part-time on Conversations. A couple of 
months would go by and I would tape some 
oral history interviews with him. Then we'd 
find out someone like Joris Ivens was com- 

ing to New York, and I'd pull a crew to- 
gether. For example, we shot four days in 
May 1977, then in August for two days. The 
following November, we went to Vermont 
and filmed with Ralph Steiner. In January 
1978 we did the first Polaroid shooting. In 
February we filmed Joris Ivens. In June 
Donald Richie, who lives in Japan, came to 
New York and we filmed him. The following 
October, Cole Weston came to the East 
Coast and we filmed a sequence with him. It 
went on like this over quite a long period un- 
til I finally settled down to cut the material. 

Willard' s first camera, 1920 

KM: How long did the production take? 

AR: Almost four years. It was your classic 
independent filmmaker's experience: I never 
had enough money to make the film, and it 
was start and stop. At one point I stopped 
everything for six months trying to raise 
money. After Austin's initial loan, I im- 
mediately began the usual grant proposal 
writing and submissions. I did get two grants 
from NEA. With Austin, the co-producer of 
the film, I raised more money from indi- 
vidual donations. I was able to negotiate a 
series of loans to tide me over, all of which 
will eventually have to be paid back. Until 
Conversations, no film of mine had cost 
more than $20,000. It's quite another thing 
to make a film for $104,000, which is what 
this film finally cost! 

KM: Can you give us a brief background 
history of Van Dyke's accomplishments? 

AR: I didn't know the details of Willard's 
background when I started the film. He lived 
in California and began his career as a still 

photographer. He was a colleague and close 
friend of Edward Weston, and also one of 
the founders of Group f64, which was very 
influential in bringing to national attention 
the aesthetic of sharp-focus photography, 
which at that time was being deeply explored 
by photographers on the West Coast. Van 
Dyke was the youngest member of that 
group, which included Weston, Ansel 
Adams and Imogen Cunningham. Willard is 
not generally known for his still photog- 
raphy because he only worked extensively in 
the field for about seven years before com- 
mencing his main career in film. 

In 1935, he moved to New York and 
became a cameraman on Pare Lorentz's 
classic The River. That was his first big 
break. He went on to make his own films 
and set up production companies. He is 
probably best known for The City, which he 
co-directed with Ralph Steiner. That film 
was made especially for the 1939 World's 
Fair, where it played four times a day for 
two years. It is a classic American documen- 
tary, still in widespread distribution through 
the Museum of Modern Art. 

In 1940 Van Dyke made his favorite film, 
Valley Town, and worked for the Office of 
War Information's Overseas Motion Picture 
Bureau, during World War II. From the end 
of the war through the middle sixties, he 
made close to a hundred sponsored docu- 
mentary films of all sorts, from 1958 to 1965 
almost exclusively for television. He made a 
couple of High Adventure shows with 
Lowell Thomas and then eleven programs 
for CBS's 772e 20th Century, which were 
hosted by Walter Cronkite. 

He became rather disillusioned with tele- 
vision and when the opportunity came in 
1965, he left film production altogether to 
become Director of the Department of Film 
at the Museum of Modern Art. He is 
probably best known now in that role. 

All his life he's been a champion of com- 
mitted films, a believer that noncommercial 
films should be shown to as broad an au- 
dience as possible. People like me probably 
wouldn't be filmmakers if it weren't for the 
work of people like Van Dyke. 

KM: The thirties were a particularly im- 
portant time for documentary films in this 
country. Can you give us a historical 
perspective of that time? 

AR: In my film Van Dyke says (speaking 


of the thirties): "I had the feeling that social 
injustices could be rectified by calling 
people's attention to them; not by making a 
revolution or by other violent action of some 
kind, but if artists would only use their 
minds and their work, bringing inequities to 
the attention of people, then people would 
automatically begin to take action for 
change." This optimism seemed to be 
prevalent. There was some government sup- 
port for endeavors in all art fields towards 
constructive change, and this was the only 
period in American film history when docu- 
mentary films actually had widespread com- 
mercial distribution in movie theatres. 

After the war, the social problems were 
supposedly solved and there was no place 
for the kinds of films that had been made 
before the war. Van Dyke and many of his 
colleagues faced disillusionment; they found 
they could not continue to produce the way 
they wanted to. 

KM: What are your thoughts on cinema 

AR: It is widely thought in some quarters 
that cinema verite has ruined the documen- 
tary form. The portable synch sound camera 
and Nagra tape recorder, which freed film- 
makers to capture spontaneous, unrehearsed 
life, also gave a lot of people the notion that 
all they had to do was go out there, shoot 
a lot of film and put it together in some 
way, and this would make them filmmakers. 
Cinema verite became an excuse for lack of 
craft, lack of technique, lack of control. I 
think it's time we understood, first, our 
heritage as filmmakers, and second, our 
responsibility to the craft of filmmaking. 

Van Dyke, and the first generation of 
American documentarists in general, were 
complete professionals from the craft point 
of view. They made films that were aestheti- 
cally beautiful and carefully thought out. 
They didn't just point the camera and paste 
together what they got. They planned it, 
they lit it, they set it up. They were closer to 
fiction filmmakers in many respects, but 
they did gather certain materials spon- 
taneously. Remember, they didn't have 
synch sound, and all their films were 35mm. 

When there was good material, sometimes 
they would stage additional shots for con- 
tinuity. For example, there's a wonderful se- 
quence in The City about the problems the 
Fire Department had in getting through traf- 
fic to a fire. One of the cameramen, Eddie 
Anhalt, was going home one night and got 
stuck in traffic. He had his camera, a 35mm 
Exemo, sitting on the seat beside him, and 
there was a fire engine trying to get through 
the traffic. He picked up his camera and 
shot it. When the editor saw the shot, he 
said, "This would make a great sequence. 
What have you got to go with it?" And 
Eddie said: "Well, I don't have anything." 
So they staged a whole sequence within 
which they used the "real" shot. 
KM: Of course, there are many people 


who would disagree with you about cinema 
verite. Many extraordinary, moving films 
have been made in that style. Tell us about 
the techniques you use in your film, why you 
use them, and why you feel they are impor- 

AR: There had to be some kind of mix be- 
tween verite-type shooting and some of the 
techniques of Van Dyke's generation, though 
I must say that nothing in my film was staged 
for continuity. I did try to use music as an 
important element, and I think the com- 
poser, Amy Rubin, did a terrific score. The 
excerpts from Van Dyke's films serve as ex- 
amples of alternative forms within the con- 
text of material gathered in unrehearsed 
shooting sessions. 

I did not have footage of Van Dyke mak- 
ing The City or shooting The River or work- 
ing for the Office of War Information, or at 
the Museum of Modern Art. I had to rely 
largely on reminiscences. This poses prob- 
lems in making portrait or biographical 
films. The director has to create as relaxed 
an atmosphere as possible, that can enable 

Willard and Ralph Steiner (r.) reminisce 
over old times in "Conversations. . ." 

the subject to relive the past in as exciting a 
way as possible— which translates to an au- 
dience as good storytelling. I also believe 
that interaction between subject and director 
is often necessary. 

KM: When you begin a shoot, do you have 
an idea of what you want to happen? 

AR: Yes, I always know what information 
I'm interested in going after. I have a series 
of questions, and directions in which I want 
to take things. In the sequences of Van Dyke 
with Ralph Steiner, and also of him with 
Joris Ivens, there was such rapport and 
energy that certain key questions got them 
started; the conversations would take off 
because they really had things to talk about 
as part of their friendship. I became the 
catalyst, knowing that it would illuminate 
aspects of both men and be of value to the 
film. Of course, I'd done my homework, 
and knew Ralph and Joris — I'd studied 
their work and developed a feeling of trust 
with them personally. They weren't merely 

foils for Willard; they knew that they would 
have their own roles in the film, that they 
would appear as accomplished professionals 
in their own right. 

KM: Did you have trouble editing so much 
interview material? 

AR: Sure. Most films of this kind are real- 
ly written in the editing room. I give a 
writing credit to Julie Sloane, who was my 
editor. Together we "wrote" the film using 
the material I had gathered — close to 50,000 

KM: Did you expect to rely so much on an 
editor when you began the film? 

AR: That's hard to answer, because I've 
always worked with an editor in close col- 
laboration. I don't think it's an admission of 
inadequacy or failure to work with one. In 
fact, I think that many independent film- 
makers make a mistake thinking they have 
to edit their own material. When you invest 
two, three, four years of your life on a proj- 
ect, you really don't see what's coming off 
the screen as other people do. I went 
through two editors and lost a year, re- 
constituting the film twice, before I found 
the right person who understood my point 
of view, could recognize the film I wanted to 
make in the material I had gathered and had 
the skill and taste to shape it. 

KM: Did you feel you had to make any 
compromises in the editing for the sake of 

AR: No. The only consideration of that 
kind had to do with length. The first cut of 
the film was ninety minutes. I liked it, but I 
didn't think an audience would have sat 
through it. Obviously, an hour is much bet- 
ter for distribution purposes, especially in 
the college market, where its long-range life 
will be, realistically. 

KM: What was Van Dyke's role in the 
making of the film? 

AR: He didn't participate in the editing, 
and didn't see any of the rushes until the 
film was basically shot. Then he looked at 
them all and went away. It was only when 
Julie and I had our first assembly, and at 
certain critical stages thereafter, that we'd 
call him in to look at it and give us his feel- 
ings. Most of it was the cogent criticism of a 
professional, and very valuable. Some of it, 
naturally, was simply personal. There were a 
few disagreements, but they were resolved. I 
think Willard is really quite pleased with it, 
though he still doesn't like the end of the 
film. He wanted us to use another sequence, 
but Julie and I felt that what he wanted 
wouldn't work. 

KM: What considerations determined 
which excerpts from Van Dyke's films were 

AR: They were carefully selected to repre- 
sent his style, technique and artistry. At the 
Continued on page 12 







In this third installment of Voices From 
the Hinterlands, the authors continue their 
series of interviews with independent pro- 
ducers pursuing various effective working 
models of film production outside of the 
major centers. 

Some filmmakers decide to finance their 
first feature in a limited partnership of a 
number of investors who put up money in 
exchange for a percentage of the film's even- 
tual profits. Starting out with $50,000 of 
their own money, Pat Wells and Peter 
Markle raised the balance of the $375,000 
needed to produce their film The Personals 
by this method. We talked to Pat (producer/ 
major fundraiser) and Peter (writer/director/ 
cinematographer) about their film and got a 
detailed picture of how they went about it. 

Peter Markle had been a Minneapolis area 
filmmaker for seven years. Pat Wells had a 
business background, having developed a 
$12 million real estate company in Min- 
neapolis, but had always been a film en- 
thusiast, and in 1978 he decided on a career 
change. He spent 16 months in Hollywood 
and then Toronto (a growing film produc- 
tion center because of Canadian tax incen- 
tives), learning the workings of the film in- 
dustry and attempting to put together 
various projects. Not satisfied with what he 
had been able to accomplish, he returned to 
Minneapolis ready to give up this new 
career. There he met Peter Markle, who had 
a dramatic script he wanted to produce as a 
feature, and the two teamed up to work on 
The Personals. 

Registering their film venture under article 
146 of the SEC, Pat and Peter invited poten- 
tial investors in groups of three and four, 
showed them a demo reel of Peter's previous 
work, and gave each person the prospectus 
required by the SEC as well as a 30-page 
marketing report on the film business. Pat 
had prepared the report for people who 
knew business but were unfamiliar with the 
particular ways in which the film business 
worked. Both Pat and Peter had come from, 
and still had associations with, the "silver 
spoon" community in Minneapolis, and ex- 
pected to raise money from some of the 
older wealthy families. Finding, however, 
that the more established business people 
were not interested, the filmmakers had 
much better success with those who were 
used to high-risk investment and liked the PM: 35 to 1. 


idea of participating in a film venture. Their 
approach worked well enough that they were 
able to line up 22 investors — once their 
package had been prepared— over a sixty- 
day period. 

Actual production proved more difficult. 
Most of the shooting took place from May 
through September 1980, but additional 
takes and pickups continued in December 
and as late as August 1981. Peter worked 
with a revolving crew of volunteer produc- 
tion assistants, shot much of the film himself 
and worked from an original script that em- 
phasized character, mood and scenic locales. 
Both Pat and Peter felt the Minneapolis set- 
ting was crucial to the feel of the film, and 
Peter spent a lot of time and film capturing 
specific qualities of early morning and late 
afternoon light. They used 35 SAG actors, 
many of wh